Guest Post by www.SportsDirect.com
Track athletes strive for the best time, field athletes the best distance, and power lifters, the greatest possible weight. Increasing weight or decreasing time is the primary focus of overall training, and it can often be forgotten that this is literally the tip of the iceberg. You aim to break your records maybe on 1 or 2 big occasions each season, maybe more if you’re a novice, yet 99.9% of your energy, your time and efforts are spent outside the stadium.
To succeed you must listen to your body, and care for it appropriately. This could be from on going rehab throughout training, such as stretching pre and post workout, to full sporting physiotherapy each week, or when appropriate. The majority of amateur athletes train around a busy schedule of family, work and other commitments, very few of whom are able to say that sport is their only focus. Professionals and emerging amateurs may be lucky enough to secure a sponsorship deal of some form, maybe even a coach to enforce and assist with rest and recovery routines.
For most of us, this isn’t the case, so it comes down to us. After all it is our body, so why neglect your long term health to save just minutes each workout?
Whether it’s stretching out specific muscles before using them, or warming up with full body cardio, or the use of light weights mimicking the movement of the exercise, doing these not only will get your muscles warm and stretched out to help avoid injury, but you may also find helps you perform better, lift more weights or avoid cramps during training.
This is a good time to listen to your body. If you feel any slight discomfort at this stage, it may be the sign to stretch further or not to push yourself too hard during the session.
Equally important is the session conclusion. You’ve trained hard, made some improvements so get yourself home, sat on the sofa. NO! STOP! You stretched before, now stretch out or cool down with some light cardio to relax your muscles and bring your heart rate down. Stretching sore muscles WILL help with muscular soreness in the following days, reducing recovery time and preventing any injury.
Also recovery can be assisted by your diet. Higher carbohydrate intake and a Whey Protein shake on training days will go a long way.
With all this said, the most important piece of training advice, which far supersedes the importance of diet, hard training or motivation, is to listen to your body. If you’re feeling stronger, push yourself, but equally back off if you’re fatigued or feel an injury.
REMEMBER: Your body knows best, regardless of ‘mind over matter’.
Share your sporting injuries, and how you could have prevented them!