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3 Steps To Training Without Injury

You've been consistent; training daily for over 6 months. And then it happens- you feel something weird behind your shoulder/knee/elbow after that last rep you wanted so badly. It starts to hurt a little, but then the sensation grows.

You may as well have died of dysentery: You're injured.

As was pointed out recently on Charles Poliquin's blog, stretching and warming up for too long can rob you of performance. However, the tendency for most relatively new lifters is to do just the opposite: not enough warm up time, and zero focus on flexibility or joint mobility... which leads to injury over the long haul.

Don't be fooled by the 'big guys' in your gym: working towards joint mobility is paramount to your long term success, and won't rob you of size and strength one bit. If done correctly, and at the appropriate time, there's no reason it would damage your performance goals either.

Here's a quick 3-step pre-workout strategy for injury prevention through simple joint mobility:

  1. Warm up for about 5 minutes.
    1. high knees, Ickey shuffle, light shadow boxing, etc.
  2. Perform large arm circles, shoulder rolls, and wrist rolls.
    1. The goal is to do this without hearing anything pop or crackle- this is done by using the fewest muscles possible to complete the action.
  3. Dynamic stretch of the lower back and hamstrings.
    1. Don't sit in the splits for 2 minutes, just hit your maximum range of motion smoothly, without jerking or bouncing.

Don't spend more than 10 minutes total on this pre-workout ritual, and watch your overall wellbeing improve- while you still make gains in your training goals!

Stay Strong, Friends.

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