Whether you are training for strength or gains in lean muscle mass you must have one eye on your joint health to prolong your longevity. You will struggle to make progress if you are constantly nursing niggles and injuries. There are 3 key areas in my opinion to doing this and I will share them with you today!
If you told me 3 years ago I should stretch my ignorant young self would have winced at the prospect of doing that! Now I am wiser and I have experienced injuries due to the very fact I didn’t value the ‘’boring’’ stuff back then.
Most people who lift heavy weight develop terrible flexibility and have poor mobility. When you face issues like this in your hip area and shoulders then you are basically an injury waiting to happen. Injured shoulders, knees and lower backs are often common issues which happen to those who train for size and strength with little focus on mobility work. Getting flexible won’t just bullet proof you it will make you stronger and more powerful.
High Rep Training
A lot of elite strength athletes utilise high rep training as a means to bullet proof the joints. Sure, high rep training is actually great for adding muscle mass via sarcoplasmic hypertrophy but that’s another story. When you use higher reps you increase the level of blood travelling into the joint which in turn flushes the connective tissues with more blood. When you consider these tissues usually have a very poor supply of blood which makes them vulnerable to injury (and why they take ages to recover!) increasing blood flow helps protect them.
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Developing core strength is usually associated with doing loads of crunches and sit ups on a Swiss ball. I on the other hand am telling you to focus on REAL core strength. This means focusing on being able to engage the pelvic floor and the transverse abdominus – not the ‘’6 pack’’ muscles. In turn this will help protect your back massively.
If you are injury free I am envious of you but let me give you a word of warning, unless you start to care about the above points you will probably pick an injury up which you could certainly AVOID. Get flexible, start using higher reps as well as lower reps and learn to work the core PROPERLY. Then you will enjoy faster progress due to the fact no injuries will get in your way.