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Prehab and Avoid Rehab

Working out is, without a doubt, one of the best things you can do for your body. Working out without taking the proper precautions, however, is akin to bungee jumping without the bungee cord. While you most likely won’t plummet to your death doing squats, you do run the risk of serious injury by putting force on your joints without preparing them first.

Cute? Yes. Successful? No.

If you don’t want to end up in rehab for months recovering from an awful injury, it’d be wise to incorporate a prehab routine into your workout regimen. Prehab strengthens your core, hips and shoulders (what is known as the “pillar”) to make your body more resistant to injury. Prehab is a proactive approach to avoiding pain and injury. You’ll build strength and stability around your most vulnerable areas, while improving mobility, balance and joint function to decrease the potential for injury.

I spend a crapload of time hunched over a computer, like I’m sure most of you do. While you’re busy reading Charlie Sheen tweets or watching scab-popping videos, your body is taking a very slow beating. No matter how ergonomic your chair or how many seated crunches you do, a sedimentary lifestyle will take a toll on your posture. Your mom/doctor/coach wasn’t being a tool when they told you to stand up straight. Poor posture can, for example, cause your shoulders to tighten, leading to a lack of range of motion and stability. Go play basketball or lift weights after a week-long “World of Warcraft” marathon and you’re sure to see the effects of this.

By prehabbing, you’ll build your pillar strength. Prehab exercises help improve posture and joint alignment, making your joints move more efficiently. These exercises also help strengthen areas prone to injury. Your body will move better and be more resistant to injury.

Before you cause some serious damage to your body on the bench or on the court, start incorporating a prehab routine into your regimen. Don’t worry; it’s not going to add another hour to your gym time. Not only do prehab movements require no equipment, but you can perform a thorough routine in as little as five minutes. While you can prehab anytime during your workout, it’s best to prehab prior to training sessions. It’s also recommended you prehab two-to-six times a week for maximum results.

Like working out, there are number of different prehab movements you can perform. Check out this prehab workout routine at Men’s Fitness for help with specific movements.

Once you see the results from prehabbing, you’ll question how you could have ever lived without them. If you’re not up for chronic back ache or, at worst, extensive surgery, take the five minutes to build your pillar strength. In the time it takes to microwave a couple frozen burritos, you can save yourself from a lot of future stress.

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About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.

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