Start Prehab to Avoid Rehab

Start Prehab to Avoid Rehab

People get injured all the time. Some injuries are activity related, while others are result of freak accidents - like the friend of mine who shut the trunk of his car and dislocated his shoulder. Many injuries are sports related, or are environmental injuries such as heat stress. Stuff happens!

But there are ways to avoid many of these common injuries that occur daily in life and during sporting activities - the method I prefer is called... PREHABILITATION.

Defined by the National Institute of Health, doctors use pre-hab to prepare a patient for the inactivity associated with post surgical procedures. The addition of functional exercises prior will help a patient rebound more quickly. Generally speaking, a pre-hab program consists of warming-up, stretching to full range of motion, a cardiovascular component like walking or swimming, and a resistance training component mixed with functional tasks.

But, many physical therapists and athletic trainers are using pre-hab as part of a daily program to help prevent nagging injuries as well as the larger ones that require surgery. To be specific, a pre-hab program to prevent injuries focuses on a person\'s body imbalances. Most imbalances occur in the following regions of the body:

Abdominal Region / Lower Back

Many people work their stomach muscles but neglect their lower back causing an imbalance that can lead to injury in both sports and daily life.

Chest and Upper Back / Rear Shoulder

Many young athletes try to bench press a truck but neglect their upper back and rear deltoids, which can lead to shoulder injuries and a sloping of the upper back.

Thighs and Hamstrings

A very delicate combination of exercises needs to be configured so the back of the legs (hamstrings) do not get under worked. A hamstring injury usually occurs when running sprints or jumping. Usually the upper side of the hamstring receives the injury so a smart stretching plan that incorporates the top and bottom of the hamstring connections is critical.

There are many other natural imbalances in the body. Basically, for any movement your body makes there are two or more groups of muscles or joints that are stretching (or flexing) to make (or oppose) that motion. Understanding this and following some of the ideas in the articles in my article archive will help you further.

The links below will help you train smarter and hopefully prevent injury.  Injuries occur all the time but can be easily avoided by training smarter - not necessarily harder!

- Fitness for Beginners - Workouts to Prevent Injury - Shoulder Workouts and Rehab - Knee and Running Injuries - Prevent Running Injuries - The Stretching Plan - Summer Swimming Workouts - Nausea During Workout - Can I Die if I Drink too Much Water?

And many others at the Stew Smith article archive.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at

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