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5 Tips How to Avoid Injuries While Training

Rear view of a young man holding his back in pain, isolated on white background, monochrome photo with red as a symbol for the hardeningInjuries happen, on the training floor or off, but injuries do happen.  I have hurt myself tripping up the stairs or shoveling snow in winter.  I have also pulled muscles and sprained fingers in my 10+ years of training.  No one wants to be injured, it stinks and it takes time away from training.  There is not much we can do about accidents, but we take take precautions to minimize the risks injuries while training.

Tips to Prevent Injuries

  1. Warm up before your begin training.  To make the most of your workout take time before class begins to warm up your body.  Depending on your current level of athleticism and health do something to start warming up your muscles like light jumping jacks, jump rope, or marching in place.  If you have room you can walk or do some light jogging.

    Neck Stretches to prevent Injuries

    Neck Stretches to Help Prevent Injuries

  2. After you’ve warmed up a little bit take time to do some light stretching.   I start with the neck, flexing it from side to side trying to put my ear to my shoulder.  Then I look to the left and right working on rotation of the cervical spine.   I like to work from the top down, focusing on the various movements of the joints.  I start with static stretches and then add in dynamic stretches.
    Taking the time to warm up before class begins serves two other purposes.  One, it ensures that I will not be late for class.  It is bad Kung Fu etiquette to show up late.  Second, it helps me to adjust my mindset and prepare mentally for class.
  3. By preparing your body before class you will have the opportunity to workout harder and push yourself further during class and reduce your risks of injuries.  You cannot expect to train with intensity and at your best if you just jump into class cold.  This is especially important the older you get.  As we age our bodies are more prone to injury and take longer to heal, so it is even more important to avoid injuries.
  4. As you learn new techniques in class start slowly with low intensity.  Get the movements down with proper structure first.  As you get more comfortable with the technique and your training partner, slowly increase the intensity with which you train.
  5. Know your limits.  There is a difference between between pushing yourself to advance your training and pushing it and risking injury.  Taking the time before class to warm up and stretch will help you become more mindful of your body, your ranges, and your limitations.

We train because we want to get better and improve our skills.  In order to do this safely we must train smart.

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Jeanne started her martial arts training later in life and has been training at SMAA for over 10 years. She likes all aspects of the martial arts from the physical challenges to the spiritual pursuits of martial etiquette and virtue. She has a master degree in marketing and is currently working on her MBA.

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