Prehab: A Proactive Approach to Preventing Injuries
Hey fitness enthusiasts! Today we are talking about something that many of us probably inadvertently practice, but maybe have not labeled. Prehabilitation aka “prehab” is a popular buzzword in the world of fitness lately and can help to prevent injuries before rehab is needed. Keep reading to find out more about this trend and how it can benefit your training sessions.
What is Prehab?
Rehabilitation (in the context of physiology and fitness) can be described as the act of restoring normal function through training and/or therapy after an injury. In contrast, prehabilitation is the act of training and/or therapy before an injury occurs. Prehab can help address an individual’s deficits in range of motion, function, strength, or stability and, when targeted towards your weaknesses, can greatly decrease the likelihood of obtaining, or greatly diminish, injuries.
Some examples of prehab include stretching, warming up, myofascial release, mobility focused movements, corrective movements and drills, and body work. Prehab also includes getting sufficient amount of sleep and proper nutrition.
How should you incorporate prehab into your routine?
Most of us already do some sort of prehab in the gym by warming up or stretching, but it may not be targeted for a specific weakness. Prehab should first focus on stability and mobility for the whole body and then focus on injury-prone areas or individual weaknesses. Do you have sticky shoulders? Spend a few extra minutes a day mobilizing that area. Make sure you are following the three S principle when working on stability and mobility – soft tissue work, stretching, and strengthening.
Once mobility and stability are increased and restored, prehab should wrap in movement-based training centered around pushing movements, pulling movements, bend and lift movements, single limb movements, and rotational movements. These five pillars of movement make up the functional actions we use in everyday life.
Need some ideas for prehab movements? Here are a five to try out
Now that you know what prehab is, and how to incorporate it into your routine, here are some example exercises you can start using:
- Single leg deadlifts
- Yoga squats
- Banded lateral walks
- Soft tissue mobilization with Musclestache tool and foam roller