Lets start with a scenario; you are watching 2 sprinters running on the same track, at the same speed. Suddenly one strains a muscle, tapers off, and finishes way behind the other. Why?
No matter the cause of the sprinters strain (for example technique, training, running gait, history of injury, etc) it all boils down to the same, irritatingly obvious conclusion; one athlete, for whatever reason, had a faulty movement pattern while the other didn’t.
Now sadly we aren't all designed to be Olympic sprinters, however the same principle applies to each and every one of us, in fact even more so to the more recreationally active individual. Why?
- evolution has designed our bodies for walking, running squatting and other natural movements. Even if you’re doing these in a gym 1 -2 hours a day, 7 days a week, it can’t make up for all the time you spend sitting in a chair.
- Prolonged sitting, and other unnatural modern positions, creates muscular imbalances which cause pain and injury. For example, long periods of time looking down at your mobile phone can lead to problems with your neck and shoulder muscles.
- These imbalances can go unnoticed, or just present as annoying nagging pains you are aware of, but that don’t irritate you enough to get them checked out.
- Should you then change or increase your activity levels, you are potentially opening yourself up to a host of injuries, which can slow your progress, or worst case scenario, cause a major injury.
So enough of the doom and gloom, what can you do help yourselfand avoid injury?
- Get your movement screened by a professional physio or sports therapist, even if you are NOT currently injured.
- Train to address your identified muscle imbalances, don’t just focus on your sporting performance or aesthetics, think long term.
- Work on the movement patterns your activity of choice requires. For help with this consult a professional therapist/coach with relevant experience.
- Get new aches and pains checked out and treated, don’t let them get worse.
- Vary your training and keep yourself moving! Sitting has been described as the ‘smoking of our generation’. Build active breaks into you daily/work routine.
Here at IFC we offer all gym clients a functional movement screen every 3 months. Our goal is to not only help you look and feel better, but also move better enabling you to achieve your very best, injury free.
Annie trained in the UK and has worked in both London and Singapore. She is a rugby enthusiast and head physio for the Bedok Kings RFC as well as working closely with the Singapore Rugby Union. She, and the therapy team are also affiliated with the British Dragon Boat Team and the crew from Juggernaut Fight Club.