The Top 5 Injury Prevention Questions Triathletes Should Ask, But Don’t

The Top 5 Injury Prevention Questions Triathletes Should Ask, But Don’t

I answered these questions as part of the mostmotion® show – available FREE each week in my SMARTT™ Folks Facebook community. Below is the video, but if you don’t have time to watch, you can read the transcription instead.

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Hey guys, and welcome to another addition of The mostmotion® Show, where we are trying to eliminate sporting injury across the world. My name’s Sarah Pitts. I am an injury prevention and reversal specialist. I am creator of the SMARTT™ Solution and founder of mostmotion.com.

So, today’s show is gonna be all about injury prevention. So, I’ve got a few questions here but we’re gonna do it slightly differently in the fact that these are questions that people should ask but they don’t.

So, the first question, I have them written down here, is: is there a way of preventing all injuries? Well, yes and no. No, you can’t prevent every single problem because there’s going to be issues caused by collisions. So, injuries to me are caused in two ways. The first is collision injuries. So that’s colliding with the ground or another person or an object like a bus or something like that. You can’t avoid injuries from those. But, the other way that injuries are created is from muscle tightness, and yes you can prevent those. So, if you’re focusing on increasing your range of movement in your joints, and you’re focusing on reducing your muscle tightness, then you are much less likely to get injured from things that gradually come on, like low back pain and things like that, that might seem like they’re triggered by one specific event.

But the muscle tightness is escalating over a period of time, and that way is likely to lead you to injury at some point. Most people exist, in terms of muscle tightness, the step below pain most of the time. They’re not in pain but they do have the tightness that is likely to create pain and often then it’s that trigger movement that tips them over into the pain, and that’s what causes the injury. If you reduce your muscle tightness and take yourself away … as far away from pain as you possibly can, then you’re not likely to develop those injuries.

The second question is: Are there some body parts that are more commonly involved in injuries than others? And the answer to that is yes. So, I have three different body positions that I call silent performance gremlins. The first one is an internally rotated femur, so that’s your thigh bone. When that turns inwards, in lengthens things out like glutes, IT band, calf muscles, hamstrings, all that kind of stuff. So, pretty much, any lower body problem can be influenced by that one change in bone position. So, if we deal with that one specific thing, then you are much less likely to encounter all of those issues that develop as a result of that.

The second one is the lack of spinal rotation, and the third one is an internal rotation of the upper arm bone. And again, just by turning your arm bones inwards, it can make you slump in your posture, and that can put pressure on your lower back. It can give you all sorts of other follow on issues. So, if we deal with just those three things, it makes life very, very simple and also, you can offset the potential of those injuries … pretty much any injury happening just by dealing with those three things. It stops you chasing symptoms, as I call it. So, it’s not dealing with IT band problems and then calf problems, and then hamstring problems. You actually just dealing with the whole thing at once because those symptoms wouldn’t occur if it wasn’t for those changes in bone position. So, yes, you can deal with lots of injuries at once.

The third question is: How can I incorporate movement efficiency into my training schedule? What we have in the moment in the industry is your training is considered to be like … let’s say it’s four hours. It’s probably four hours a day for some people. But for other people, four hours a week is enough. But then you add in things like mobility training and strength and conditioning, and all those things, then all of a sudden you’re adding more time to your training. So instead of doing four hours of, let’s say, running, then you have to do … you might do 15 minutes half an hour a day of mobility work, for example. And that builds your weekly training time into much more than the four hours that you had.

So, what never happens is that mobility takes priority and the training stops or gets replaced by that mobility. But, there is ways, or there are ways of incorporating the mobility training into what you’re already doing. So, doing things like switching out your warmup is a really, really quick and effective way of building up your mobility and improving your efficiency of movement without actually adding more stuff to your day or your week. And the same can be said for strength and conditioning. We can follow strength routines that will actually unlock your body, and as you unlock your body you’re reaching strength reserves you didn’t know you had.

So, you don’t have to necessarily increase the weights to improve your strength. What you need to do is be recruiting more muscles into the job that you’re asking your body to do. So let’s say you are wanting to do a squat and your hip flexes are very tight. If your hip flexes are tight, then your glutes are not gonna be working very well. But, if your strength and conditioning routine that you’re already doing as part of your training is focused on opening your hips out, then when you go back to doing your squats, and you won’t necessarily have done any extra weights to improve your squat, but your squat will improve just because you balanced out the number of muscles that can get involved. So, if you open up your hip flexors, your glutes can get more involved and then you’ve got more muscles contributing to that movement.

So, fourth question is: how do I … no, How do my daily activities influence my injuries? So, loads of us do lots of things repeatedly over and over again all throughout the day. Sitting down is one of them. And oftentimes, we don’t consider those things as being part of the injury process. We look at the training that we’re doing and we’ll look at the mobility that we’re doing, and we look at all of these things that we’re doing as part of our exercise. But we don’t necessarily look at the amount of time that we spend sitting down or repeating the same movements in our daily lives.

So, when you get in the car, for example, you’ll always put your seatbelt on the same way. If you’re lifting something repeatedly, then you will always do it the same way, and you’ll do it the easiest way because bodies are designed to do that. That’s how they function. So, when you do something repeatedly, you are increasing your muscle tightness and like we said before, the muscle tightness leads then to the injury. So, if we can do things in our daily lives, we can identify the things in our daily lives that are creating lots of repetition, and we can start to do something about that. It might be that you start to put your seatbelt on slightly differently every time.

In fact, have a challenge. Do that today. Every time you put your seatbelt on, try and do it slightly differently than you did it last time, and see how many different ways you can come up with doing it because one movement over and over again is not normal to your body. It’s not using all of your body to its full capabilities. It’s just one way of moving. So, if we try and insist on the correct way of doing something, then that’s when we start to stop trying to get issues because we start to get tightness in specific places that we wouldn’t get if we did it in lots of different ways all the time. So, there’s lots of repetition in our daily lives, and if we can minimise that, then we are also helping to reduce the potential of injury.

So, the fifth question is: Are there any ways other than movement that can influence my injuries? And the answer to that is yes. So, there’s two things that come to mind specifically, and they’re huge, okay? The first one is food. So, food can influence your injuries because of inflammation. If you have lots of inflammation in your body, then you’re gonna find it more difficult to move around. Your joints will be inflamed, they will feel stiff and sore, and they won’t feel like they’re lubricated that much. And that’s when you’ll start to get problems with your movement. So, if you’re eating well for you, whatever that might be, then your inflammation will be reduced and you’ll move a lot better, which will be much less effort for your body because when it’s restricted, it has to use a lot more effort to do the same thing. So, if you’re reducing the inflammation, you’re taking away that restriction, then you will reduce the amount of effort that your body has to use to perform one movement, which means it’s fatiguing less quickly. So, if you’re an endurance athlete, that’s always helpful.

So, the second way is emotional stress. And by stress, it can be simply just being too busy. If your brain is constantly thinking about something, and you find it difficult to relax, then the same stress hormones that are created in a traumatic situation are created in like a busy lifestyle situation. And if you add to that exercise on top, those stress hormones are produced while you’re exercising as well, and then what we have is this spiral and increase of stress hormone and this persistent production of those hormones means that your muscles are persistently tight, and your organs really struggle. So, then you will find it difficult to move around, your muscles will just feel tense and stuck, and that means that you’re much more likely to tear them if something happens to you like … I had a couple of athletes the other week, and they both fell down a hole in a race. As it happens, because they were working on their mobility before they did the race, they both ended up with a minor tweak, minor pull of a muscle, and it went away very quickly.

But, if your muscles are stiff and sore, if you put your foot down a rabbit hole for example then you’re much more likely to tear ligaments and tendons, which take much, much longer to heal.

So, I hope that helps and if you have any questions, you can always get them to me on this message, or you can email me, [email protected] And if you want to find out anymore about the SMARTT™ Solution or any of my methods, just head on over to mostmotion.com. You can even take the free interactive video that’s there and find the best information for you the most quickly.

Thanks for watching. I’ll see you again next time.

 

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