Effective Injury Prevention

By Helen Tompkins | October 19, 2014

Injury prevention requires three things: PreparationRecovery, and Nutrition

Karen Calara working on Julia Lonchar in preparation for Speed Order Finals.

The following techniques come from Karen Calara, PT and CSCS.


Have a pre-workout routine.  This routine can change over time to suite your specific needs.  The following is a good base-line of activities to build from.

The goal of the following exercises is to mobilize tight joints.

Hip-Openers:  Using thick band anchored low and high around inner thigh positioned so that the band is pulling your leg away from your hip at a 45 degree angle.  On all fours rock back to your heels then all the way forward, 5 times each leg.  Repeat with your body positioned at a 90 degree angle from the anchor.

With the band providing strenuous resistance around your inner thigh, and your body at a 45 degree angle from the anchor, get in pigeon stretching position for a 30 second hold on each side.

Hamstring Ball Release:  Position lacrosse ball on the vertical fibers connecting the glut and hamstring.  Sitting on hard surface with knees at 90 degrees, roll ball across fibers, horizontal across leg for both hamstrings.  For deeper release, lift legs straight while rolling.

Thoracic Mobility:  Stand in front of post, wall corner, or squat rack facing away.  Reach right hand straight back, with palm flat and facing away from you on post. Place right foot forward and left foot back with hips straight facing away from post. Keep left arm straight with palm facing away from you, swing horizontally from the right hand, to as far as you can reach behind you on the left side. Do this five times then switch.

The goal of the following activities is is to activate gluts and core.

Dead Bug: Lying on back with arms and legs up, knees and hips at 90 degree angle, arms straight. Extend opposite arm and leg while holding other arm and leg still.  The whole time pressing low back into ground and squeezing abs together and down.  1 minute

Wall Squats: Toes touching wall, arms over head slightly bent, with forearms against wall. 20 quick

Star: Same side hand and foot on ground, other hand and foot in air.  Hold body stable, with spine and hips aligned. 30 seconds each side

Stir the Pot: Plank with forearms on stability ball.  Move hands in circle slow, 5 times each direction.


Post-workout routine.

Foam-Roll: Thoracic crunches over foam roller, back, lats, hamstrings, IT-bands, calfs

Long Stretches: Hamstrings, IT-bands, shoulders

After high intensity workouts.

Contrast Hot-Cold Baths: This can be done in the shower.

Soak in Hot Bath with Epsom Salts: 2-4 cups salt in as hot of water as you can handle for 20 minutes.


Water and Electrolytes:  This is the most important.  Drink eight ounces every hour with plenty electrolytes.

Nutritionist: Seeing a nutritionist for athletes is a good place to start and continue with once a month check-ins.

Know Your Body:  Listen to your body and seek to make it happy.  When something bothers you research what foods or vitamins may help solve your issue.  If you do not sleep through the night, it may help to take Magnesium Bisglycinate.  If your muscles are really tight and sore, taking fish oil, preferably in liquid form, will help.

The more you know about you the better.  People with different blood types have different nutritional needs.  Individuals with type O blood types requires more proteins where as those with AB blood types lack digestive enzymes.  Use nutrition to help you body to function at its best.