Skip the commercials and try these simple tricks that make a big difference
When looking at your day-to-day routine, it might seem impossible to put in a bunch of fancy and time-consuming tactics to help with injury prevention. Don’t worry, there’s good news. Some extremely effective strategies for injury prevention are also some of the easiest to accomplish. Try some of these simple tweaks to your daily routine and ramp up your injury-prevention skillset.
Change Your Position
The simplest thing you can do to improve your injury prevention tactics is to move or change your body position often. You may work a desk-based job, but simply changing your positioning every 20 to 30 minutes makes a world of difference. Try to go from seated to kneeling to standing often. Staying in one position for too long can cause joints to become stiff and restricted. Simple position changes will allow blood to flow more freely and keep areas of the body from tightening up. Applying this step to your day will help that first stroke at evening practice feel a little less tense.
You can also complete some simple movements at your desk to relieve tension. Remember, even a little bit of movement is a deposit in the injury-prevention bank.
Swim Ready Movements
Try these movements while at the office to keep your body swim ready.
Stretch While Watching TV
This is one of my favorite things to do. I often hear the recommendation to stop watching TV and to do something active, but it’s hard to pass on our favorite shows.
Why do we have to just sit while watching TV? Use this time wisely and unlock massive benefits. You’ll feel better and still get to enjoy your favorite show. The best part is if you do it before bed, you’re also going to be more relaxed and ready to fall asleep faster.
Did you have a stressful day? Unwind instead of taking all that tension to bed. Completing a stretch routine before bed helps control stressors affecting your body and really helps reset your system. Make the next day start on a more positive note by priming yourself for a good night of sleep.
Here’s one of my go-to TV stretch routines. Complete three rounds of the following exercises. Focus completing the exercises until you notice a positive change in range of motion or tension levels.
TV Stretch Routine
Avoid Side Sleeping
This one is a little tougher to implement, but it is worth trying. Masters swimmers should avoid side sleeping for many reasons. When you sleep on your side, you’re usually in a shrugged position. This is going to increase tension in the neck and could result in pain and tension in the neck and shoulder. Side sleeping also has potential to decrease your blood flow to the shoulder girdle. If you have an injury to the shoulder, upper back, or neck, this will hinder your body’s recovery process. You want blood flow to be at its best, which is critical to tissue repair.
Try to sleep on your back instead. The key is to make sure the neck is kept in a neutral position, so air can flow freely. Sleeping on your back also allows the mattress to support your spine as it’s intended.
If you do sleep on your side, try to tuck a pillow between your knees and behind your upper back. This will help take some of the pinch points away and allow blood to flow more freely. Then you can rotate, slightly, onto the pillow behind your upper back and take pressure off the bottom shoulder.
Implement a few of these simple tactics, and you’ll be on your way to armoring yourself with a sound injury-prevention system.
- Technique and Training