Do you need prehab?

The short answer is a firm yes.

Instead of being reactive when it comes to exercise injuries, the best way to keep your body safe is to be proactive.

Personal trainer Tegan Haining says that prehab is the way to maintain a happy, healthy body for many workouts to come. 

What is prehab and why should I do it?

Although you may think a few minutes on the tread mill gets you warmed up, Tegan warns it’s not always the case.

“Prehab is more effective because it's sports specific,” she explains. “To prevent potential injury you need to make sure the muscles you’re going to use are properly switched on.”

Basically, prehab gets your muscles ready to go and is a lot more targeted than a general warm up.

“If your body is tight and not properly prepared, it can increase your chance of sustaining an injury like a pulled muscle,” she says.

How to incorporate prehab into your routine

Tegan advises that the kind of prehab depends on what workout you’re going to do.

For example, if you’re doing a heavy leg workout she suggests using a foam roller to prep your inner thighs, paired with some dynamic moving stretches and some glute activation work with a rubber band. 

Prehab should be conducted right before your workout and Tegan says up to 15 minutes will suffice.

If you’re easing back into exercise, she also notes you can lengthen your prehab routine and use it as a complete workout.

How to find the best person to kick-start your prehab

To get the best advice for your specific needs, Tegan suggests approaching a personal trainer or physiotherapist to assess your body and provide a tailored routine. 

"Do a lot of research into their credentials and experience, and meet them in person," she stresses. "It's the only way you'll get to see if you gel and if your goals are aligned."

A basic prehab kit

Although you can have a multitude of props to help you prepare for your workout, Tegan lists some great starters:

• Foam roller – great for getting circulation going in the morning. If you find it painful, start with light brushing and work up to applying more pressure.
• Miniband – a big rubber band you can put around your knees or ankles to help activate the glute area.
• Y’s and T’s – making a Y or T shape with your arms will help to activate your upper back and shoulders.
• 30 second planks

Should all fitness levels be doing it?

“It’s important for everybody especially group fitness classes and those with desk jobs,” she reveals. “You need to be sure that your back, butt and stomach are all working and that everything is tracking in the correct alignment from shoulders to knees.”

The personal trainer adds that prehab is the key to maintaining your body and protecting it for years to come.

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