By Christina Drew, MPT, BSC.KIN
I, like many of you LOVE working out! It has taken me however many years to workout SMART. Being a Physiotherapist and avid athlete I learned to combine both loves and stop abusing my body and fighting through “bad” pain. What’s “bad” pain, it’s not the burning sensation you get in your muscles from pushing through one more rep, it’s the pain that brings you to a 7-10/10 on a pain scale, the pain that is disabling and lingers forcing you to stop doing what you love doing.
Throughout my athletic career I suffered many season ending injuries, including 3 ACL reconstructions, concussions, and a dislocated shoulder. I quickly realized that in a matter of seconds injury can occur, even if you believe you are “fit”. At the time I felt a little defeated, why were all these injuries happening to me. My belief in the phrase “everything happens for a reason” and passion for living an active life, allowed me to focus on the positives of these injuries, they lead me to my profession and truly understanding the importance of rehabilitation and more importantly preventing injury from occurring. A key focus in my career and life is sharing my knowledge with women alike and preventing them from going through months of therapy.
My passion and drive to prevent injuries in active women led me to creating an Injury Prevention Program that’s main purpose is to prevent injuries, decrease the amount of time spent away from sport/activity, optimize and enhance athletic performance, and target functional imbalances. The program design is very individualized, as we all have led different lives that have contributed to these imbalances, such as sport, having children, and poor posture to name a few. Imbalances show up in our bodies as tight muscles vs elongated ones, knots or adhesions in our muscles or fascia (band/sheet of connective tissue), postural changes, and/or pain. The active part of the program starts by building foundational strength and balance in our CORE muscles and stabilizers, so we are then able to build and strength train our larger prime mover muscles.
Tips for getting started with an Injury Prevention Program:
Seek out a Physiotherapist who is familiar with Injury Prevention and the activity you do. They will be able to assess your body and give you an individualized program based on their findings. Some may recommend you receive additional manual Physiotherapy sessions to help with alignment and breaking down some of your adhesions.
Get involved with programs that ensure you master the CORE muscles first before starting any other fitness program/plan, such as the Busy Mom Gets Fit Flat Tummy Program (www.busymomflattummy.com). This program explains the CORE, its importance and how to properly train it. Your CORE is the center point of functional movement. When engaged and trained properly it prevents injury to your back and pelvis as well as allowing you use the rest of your body more efficiently.
Lastly, train SMART! Listen to your body’s cues. Your intuition is always right. If something feels off, and/or in 7-10/10 pain, stop.
As GORGOGIRLS, we are warriors and strong, however we also know how to listen to our bodies signs of pain or imbalances. Let’s make this year about building the foundations in our bodies to prevent injury from occurring so we can live our most powerful life, without having to live with pain.