The 10 Commandments of Injury Prevention
Both professional and soldier athletes must do everything it takes when it comes to injury prevention to avoid severe discomfort and weeks of treatment and time lost. The ACFT is a novel and complex test that will push your body in new ways. Injury prevention while training for the ACFT is important. These ten commandments are a good place to start.
COVID 19 bans are being lifted and gyms are finally reopening. Its tempting to want to rush into a killer work out to try to quickly return to the level you were at pre- quarantine. This can lead to injury and set you back even further! Read this great article for great tips to stay injury free as you get back to training for the ACFT!
An injury prevention definition would be all the efforts to reduce the severity of bodily injuries caused by any external circumstances, such as sports and exercise before they happen. It is not a wonder that injury prevention is an important focus for the Army. An injury will cost a soldiers a lot of time and costs in treatment, time away from training, discomfort associated with a sports-related injury, and most significantly can up their fellow soldiers at risk. This article covers injury prevention for ACFT training as well as sports medicine in general. Below are the top ten commandments for injury prevention to always have in mind when you put on your workout or sports gear.
Thou shall warm-up
You have probably heard it a million times from injury and illness prevention programs, but the message rarely hits home. Most of the injuries in sports can be attributed to lack of a thorough warm-up, examples being pulled hamstrings, groin straining, and joint pain in the knees and ankles. Warming up is the best way to prepare muscles and other soft tissues in your body by warming them up and increasing their flexibility ahead of the workout ahead. Warming up will also help you avoid excessive motions that can cause injuries, such as rolling your ankle over and tearing the lateral ligaments. Ensure that your warm-up is sport-specific and gradual but thorough
Thou shall cool down effectively
More often than not, amateurs will literally walk away from the gym after their last exercise, eager to get home and rest. However, any injury prevention specialist will advise that if you do not do some static stretching motions after your exercise or sporting routine, you will experience painful soreness and tension in your muscles, which can even be extreme if you have a new workout guide. The best way to cool down is to stretch your arms and legs using some relaxing static motions or even a slight jog. These motions will help your body return to resting state by reducing intensity gradually rather than drastically.
Thou shall perfect and practice your technique consistently
Another common reason for sports-related injury is using the wrong motions over and over again. Your muscles can only take so much of this strain, and will eventually start to hurt. Poor technique, due to continued strain, will cause acute injury. An example would be in the Maximum Dead Lift or the Leg Tuck where bad patterns and techniques will eventually cause you to fall. A coach or trainer can help you identify where you are going wrong and correct the poor motion as soon as possible for back injury prevention. By observing you in action, they can use their expertise to teach you how to correct these errors.
The ACFT is full of new movements and may be a challenge for some to practice with good form. Be sure you have the correct form before getting comfortable with the new exercises. Videos of experts preforming the test can help, coaching is also a great way to ensure proper technique. Army-Fitness.com has many online coaches that are ready to train you for the ACFT.
Thou shall use the right equipment in excellent working condition
Your sports equipment, including bats, rackets, weights, sneakers, and sports gear must be in excellent condition; otherwise, you risk falls, sprains, accidents, and inappropriate form. Ensure that the gear you and your teammates are using is excellent, as part of your sports injury prevention strategy. You also want to ensure that the equipment you use is the right one for the sport to avoid using the wrong forms of motions when training. The ACFT is very gear specific. Be sure the gear you practice on is the gear you will use during testing scenarios.
Thou shall be fit for your sport
Your level of fitness is crucial in determining what sport or intensity to go for. If you are not adequately fit, you will get really tired with time, and as your range of motion becomes limited, you may start to use bad technique, which can cause pressure injury. An important approach to pressure injury prevention in sports and exercise is determining just how far you can go and gradually getting to your goal.
Also, ensure you get the right kind of training for your sport; for instance, you cannot train for football by running marathons. Likewise, train for the ACFT like the test will run- practicing at 50-75% of max effort will get you ready for 100% effort on test day while preventing injury for ACFT training .
Thou shall develop the strength required for the sport
Strength is just as essential as fitness to avoid injury while playing your favorite sport. Your measures for building strength, like fitness, should match your sport and overall injury prevention exercises goals. For instance, if you are an athlete, running alone is not going to build the strength your muscles need to keep you on your feet, so lift weights to strengthen your core, legs, and glutes at least twice a week.
These strong muscles will help you control your movements for better results and knee injury prevention. They are also key elements of success on the ACFT. Uncontrolled motions are among the biggest causes of ligament tears.
Thou shall follow the rules of the game
The rules are there in place to protect you and your teammates as well as ensure that the game proceeds without any incident. For instance, in baseball, the rules state that all hitters must wear helmets; and in football, all players must put on helmets and pads. While they may make the game cumbersome, these safety gear will protect you from sprains, impacts, and fractures.
Thou shall not play through the pain
Never continue your routine or play if you are in pain. This additional strain will make things so far worse than they already are. Stop and seek treatment immediately from a reputable treatment and injury prevention program, and do not go back until the pain is gone.
Thou shall take sufficient recovery time
Your body needs time to recover and adapt to the demands your routine or competition is placing on it. Failing to rest means that your muscles and tissues do not have sufficient time to repair themselves, and you can easily get injured. Get at least a full rest day between competitions, alternate heavy training days with light training, and if you are just starting with exercise, get two days a week.
This article covered 10 key elements to injury prevention for ACFT training. The best approach to avoiding injury has always been to prevent it, and with these rules, you should be able to train effectively for the ACFT, and enjoy high levels of fitness without many injuries.
Thanks Rachel for these comprehensive tips to prevent injury! As the COVID-19 bans are being lifted I know many of us are headed back to the gym for the first time in months. You might be anxious to regain strength lost and excited to get back to where you were in March. However, an injury now would just set you back further so take this advice to heart!
Rachel Burns has been writing on topics related to fitness and healthy eating for 2 years now. Rachel specializes in plant-based diets. In addition to nutrition, she is also an exercise enthusiast.