Tips & Advice

The KEY for unlocking injury prevention

July 7, 2018


Goldenkey


Do you remember a time in life when you longed for your first car, maybe your first house, first job? These are situations that were life changing events, situation that would set the mold for your future. These were situations that would fundamentally change how your life flowed each day. Like these instances that provided a life change, there is a concept that is available to you in order to help prolong your ability to enjoy life and all it has to offer. The key to unlocking this revolves around understanding your body and what it requires of you. This concept is known as movement variability.

“Movement variability”  = Accessing different postures and movement positions intermittently in order to provide altering stimuli and loading of joint end ranges. 

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The important aspect of movement variability is related to its ability to prevent injury when performed over time. This does not mean that if you move through all range of motion (ROM) for one day that this will provide injury prevention mechanism for you. Movement variability is a concept that must be implemented into your daily life, into a ritual, into a HABIT. It is well documented that it takes around 6-12 weeks of consistent practice to truly form a habit. This means that in order for you to prevent injury, you need to perform your new accessory movements for 6 weeks at a MINIMUM.

The way that movement variability works encompasses your ability to access your full joint range of motion. For example…

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We commonly sit/bend/stoop when using our hip joint, all of these movements are into flexion, and they stress the posterior joint. In order to access the anterior joint, we should move into hip extension with movements such as bridges, lunge stretch (for the back leg), hip flossing, and seal stretch. These movements stress our leg being pushed backwards, ultimately putting tension on the front part of the hip and taking pressure off of the back side of the hip.

There are a lot of different movements for each joint that we need to perform, and they need to be programmed strategically in order to get the most out of your movement. 

The following list breaks down specific movements that you need to focus on for major joints of the body:

Neck

  • Extension
  • Retraction
  • Rotation

Low Back

  • Extension
  • Rotation

Elbow

  • Extension

Wrist

  • Extension​

Knee

  • Flexion

Toes

  • Extension

Mid Back

  • Extension

Shoulder

  • Extension
  • External rotation
  • Internal rotation
  • Horizontal adduction

Forearm

  • Supination

Hip

  • Extension
  • Abduction
  • Internal rotation

Ankle

  • Dorsiflexion

The sequence for implementing this key for injury prevention should be as follows:

  1. Understand the movements that your joints and body are capable of.
  2. Practice moving your joints through their full range of motion in order to see what area of your body needs some TLC!
  3. Determine what time of day works best for you to implement these accessory movements. For me, I perform my movements before bed. I spend 15 minutes working on a different area each night. 
  4. Perform each movement about 5-10 times, holding the end range position for 10 seconds. You can also vary this by moving into a movement 1 time but staying in that position for 45 seconds. If you do the latter, then understand that you are not just going “lax” in that position, instead, truly be aware during your movement and keep your muscles engaged as this will lead to better motor control. 
  5. See the improvements blossom into a beautiful injury prevention tool that you can use for the rest of your life.