If you're an avid exerciser or athlete, chances are you’ve suffered from an injury at some point.
Along with being painful and sometimes debilitating, injuries can set you back big time when it comes to reaching your fitness goals.
And let’s face it: coping with an injury is just as much mental as it is physical. I’m a big believer that exercise is nature’s medicine, and nothing is worse than giving up something that makes you feel good, like Volleyball.
Needless to say, that warm-up activities play a key role in minimizing injury and performance with Volleyball as well as many other sports. Among the top benefits of doing warm-up exercises for volleyball are increased body temperature, increased muscle temperature, increased blood temperature, improved blood circulation, increase in flexibility, improved range of motion, increased muscle coordination, increased the secretion of hormones, more effective body cooling, dilated blood vessels, increased explosive power, increased mental focus as well as mental preparation.
When it comes to lowering your risk of injury, being warming up and being prepared is more than half the battle. And as with anything in life, knowledge is power. Here are the five most common causes of exercise injuries:
1. Failing to Warm-up Properly
Warm-ups are essential for increasing blood flow and prepping the central nervous system for activity. During a warm-up, your muscle temperature increases. Warm muscles are more elastic and less prone to being torn.
Also, as your blood temperature goes up, oxygen is available for your muscles. This not only protects your body from injury but boosts your endurance as well.
2. Not Being Present in Your Workout
If you want to make the most of your workout and reduce your risk of injury, focus on the mind-muscle connection.
Practicing mindfulness during exercise is important for two reasons: first, it relieves stress, and second, it increases the effectiveness of your workouts. Think about it: If you’re in a rush to finish, how thoughtful are you with your form?
This brings me to my next point…
3. Poor Technique
Doing repetitive actions in poor form puts a ton of stress on your muscles and joints. According to a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers found the cause for most running injuries is the result of improper technique.
"What we think may be happening, is that these postures are increasing stress through the entire body, and it is simply the weakest link in the chain that becomes injured first," Physiotherapist and Ph.D. researcher Chris Bramah, states.
To stay safe, slow down the movements and really focus on the muscle you’re working in each exercise.
4. Overexerting Yourself
When it comes to exercise, it’s extremely important to know your limits. We all have to start somewhere!
Over time, as your strength increases, you can increase the intensity and length of your workout. But if you do it too soon, you run the risk of overexerting yourself and derailing your progress.
This applies to all types of workouts, whether it’s cardio or weight training. You’ll never regret pacing yourself.
5. Not Incorporating Recovery Days
More does not always equal better results. Many injuries come from overtraining and not giving the body enough rest between intense workouts.
Exercise causes two types of stress on your muscles: metabolic stress and mechanical stress. Metabolic stress is caused by the energy depletion of your cells and mechanical stress is the physical damage to the muscle tissue.
Regardless of the type of stress, you’re experiencing, you will need a recovery day for the body to repair itself.