Get Safe and Stay Healthy: Injury Prevention Tips

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Get Safe and Stay Healthy: Injury Prevention Tips

Guest Post by EVKM Instructor Dr. Sara Ullenbruch, PT, DPT

Hi everyone! I’m Sara, I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy who has been practicing for over 4 years, and I am also one of the Krav Maga instructors at EVKM.

As a physical therapist, I use Applied Functional Science to help restore my patient's normal biomechanics and resolve/reduce injury. Basically, I remind your body how it should be moving to resolve compensations and poor movement patterns.

Our bodies move in 3 planes of motions; forward and back (sagittal plane) side to side (frontal plane), rationally (transverse plane). With certain injuries or activities, some planes of movement will become limited and those muscles will be very weak. My job is to find those deficits in certain planes, improve mobility and strength to allow the person to return to full activity with improved ability.

I will be using this blog post to share my experience in treating those who do self-defense training and sports. I also want to share simple ways for you take care of your bodies to reduce your rate of injury. This post will include a basic mobility routine you can do right in the gym or at home!

Why We Are Susceptible To Injuries

When it comes to self-defense training there are a few reasons why injuries can happen. For instance, a basic fighting stance forces us to have more weight on one leg, one leg functioning more often as a pivoting point and the other leg often in a flexed position, and our upper body rounded forward with our chins tucked. 

Biomechanically speaking; our hips tend to have different strengths, our pelvis can become rotated on one side due to muscle length differences, our calves have different jobs, our shoulder girdle maintains that protracted (forward position) which can affect how your body works throughout the day. Unfortunately, we cant walk around all day in our fighting stance; we have to work, take care of our children or animals, and do all of the human things. With any type of repetitive use, the issues come into play not only from training but often combined with sitting at a desk or lifting heavy equipment, leaving your body no recovery time. When we don't balance our bodies and provide adequate rest, we are much more susceptible to some type of injury.

So How Do We Prevent The Injury?

It’s important to keep in mind in order to do your chosen hobby that you must take care of you body.  No matter your hobbies or how many activities you have, you need to make time for actively balancing your body and giving it the attention and rest it needs. Cross training is important, but not how many think. You cannot do Krav Maga and swim and think that swimming will fix anything negative that happens to your body in Krav Maga or vice versa. You need to “cross train” by working on specific joints or body parts at a time. 

Here are some easy ways to begin the process

  Active stretching (stretching with movement): This allows your muscles and brain to constantly have neurological communication. When you utilize active stretching your brain is constantly getting an update on how mobile you are. This type of stretching reduces injury rate when preformed prior to activity.

  Passive stretching (holding a stretch): This allows your muscles to improve their length but there is less neurological communication between your muscles and brain. Injury rate is higher when performed prior to activity due to improved flexibility but no activation of the muscle at that point. Perform this type of stretch after activity.

  FOAM ROLLING (self massage): This allows you to loosen up muscles when performed prior to activity, but also allows you to reduce your muscle soreness after activity by increasing blood flow throughout your tissue. This action can be done on any muscle group with a foam roller, soft ball, lacrosse ball or anything hard with rounded edges!

  CROSS TRAINING (body part specific mobility & strength activity): This should always include mobility in all 3 planes of motion.  You have to make sure each plane is active and ready to take on any force applied to your body, whether it is from you or someone else. Cross training should always be one arm or one leg worked at a time, since as pointed out previously, in self defense training and most sports one side of our body is worked harder than the other so we should also recover that way.

Mobility Routine

For this routine, keep all the movements dynamic. These routine should be done prior to classes, and can also be a great way to cool down after.

Hip Mobility #1

Hip Mobility for Krav Maga 

Hip Mobility #2

Hip Flexibility for Krav Maga Classeship mobility for krav maga classes in tempe and phoenix arizona

Hip Mobility #3

hip stretching for krav maga classes

Scapula and Should Stretch

shoulder stretch for krav maga classes at evkm in tempe arizona

Calf stretch 

Sara is a Krav Maga Instructor at EVKM, and practices as a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Functional Performance Center in Tempe, Arizona. 


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