Monday Motivation (WEEK 16): Preventing Injury
I hope everyone is having a good start to the week. In this week’s edition I want to get into upper and lower body injuries. Dealing with the upper body, the injuries usually relate more to exercises that we are not implementing into our workouts rather then exercises that we are doing. Lack of doing pulls to improve the pulling strength is a reason we see many rotator cuff and shoulder injuries. For myself personally, I had surgery on both left and right labrum in my shoulders. I now know how to lift properly and am setting personal bests each week with my lifting. This is simply because I have implemented a ton of rowing (horizontal pulling) and pull up/chin-ups into my weekly programming. The pull:push ratio should be 1:1. That is every time we, say, bench press we need to have a row implemented as well. For a percentage to know if you have the right amount of pulling strength vs. pushing strength a good number to go by is 80% of your push you should be able to pull. A 1:1 ratio is preferred but 80% is definitely alright. If you can lower a bar to your chest you should be able to pull the chest to the bar. Rowing strength is so important for your scapular retraction strength which helps protect the shoulders from injury. You should progress from sitting down —> half-kneeling—> standing for these exercises.
In discussing lower body injuries I would like to start at the knee. I myself tore my left ACL as a Sophomore in High School from doing a jump stop at the rim in a basketball game for Maine South. It was a non-contact injury. I had horrible form on my squats which I believe led to me being very quad dominant and my ligaments not able to withstand the wear and tear anymore on a daily basis. We have to start with having good form on our squats, that is definitely a starting point. When we have anterior (front) knee pain, that is usually caused by the hip or the foot, not the knee. Our iliotibial band ( IT band) transmits forces from the gluten to our patella tendon. When the IT band gets tight from one sitting at their desk all day some people may feel some pain in their knee when walking around. Its because we are losing mobility in our hips, not because our knee is in bad shape. The same goes for our ankles. You would be surprised how many people have poor ankle mobility. A loss of ankle mobility will also affect the knee. I am going to dig into some sport-specific injuries in next week’s Monday Motivation!
In Good Health Always,
Sean Maloney and the ToneUp Club Team