May 14, 2020
Dedicated athletes are used to pushing their bodies to the limit, stretching their endurance, strength, and technique. But injuries can really challenge an athlete’s patience. The first question that we often hear from injured athletes is when can I train, play, run, lift, etc. again? The mental pain that can be caused by an injury and the loss of your sport can feel more devastating than the injury itself. It’s important that the steps you take to recover from a sports injury address both your physical and mental health. Try some of the following sports injury recovery tips from your friends at CORESHORTS™ and get on your way to healing!
First Steps to Sports Injury Recovery
The first steps in recovery after evaluating a sports injury are often to use cold therapy and compression for initial treatment. Use the mnemonic “PRICE,” which stands for protect, rest, ice, compression, and elevation, to help reduce the swelling and pain accompanied with a soft tissue injury. The objective of using PRICE is to reduce the negative effects of inflammation (even though inflammation is one of the first steps in healing) and kickstart the healing process as soon as possible after an injury occurs.
Pro Tip: Compression helps control swelling in the area of an injury. The variable compression ratings produced by our three versions of CORESHORTS™ can help protect and support the recovery of low back, groin, hip, and pelvic injuries.
Understand Your Injury + Allow Healing
If your injury is minor, such as a grade 1 sprain or strain, it will take two to four weeks away from competitive sport to allow time for rehabilitation, and recovery to promote healing. If needed, it may be of value to support the injured area with a splint, brace, or compression apparatus as recommended by the treating therapist. Continuing to use your injured body part under the guidance of a therapist will help prevent the injury from becoming a chronic problem.
Keep in mind that a lack of improvement or worsening pain warrants a trip to your sports therapist. Pain should never be ignored, and some injuries might require imaging and further evaluation by a Sports Medicine Physician. Be sure to follow your doctor’s advice closely. Don’t cut corners, and work as hard in your rehab as you usually do in your training regimen.
As the pain subsides and your injury heals, small movements of the joints and injured area can help restore your range of motion.
A key component to recovery is the use of a graduated resistance program that will help strengthen your muscles. Resistance training also needs to be supported with exercises to improve balance, reflex control, and endurance in both the injured tissues and all those surrounding them. This kind of training will prepare your body to get back to your sport!
Be careful though, do not start to stretch or use an injured body part without supervision from a physiotherapist, sports therapist, or doctor. Working the injured area prematurely can cause further injury and a longer recovery. That being said, light stretching can help your muscles stay loose while you heal. Just don’t overdo it or push your muscles too far if stretching causes pain to your injury.
Eat a Healthy Diet + Hydrate
Just as weightlifters eat ample protein on rest days to help their muscles recover, you should add more lean protein to your diet when you are in recovery from a sports injury. Adjusting your diet can help your body build more tissue and heal faster.
Protein-rich foods like meat and fish help enhance your body’s muscle-building process. Leafy dark greens and citrus fruits can help boost vitamin C, which in turn produces collagen that rebuilds tissues. Eating foods rich in Omega -3 fats, such as fish, walnuts, chia seeds, spinach, and flax, can help limit inflammation and speed up recovery. There are also many supplements and plant-based options that will also work to enhance recovery.
It’s easier to forget to adequately hydrate when you aren’t training or exercising regularly due to an injury. While you might not be participating in strenuous exercise and sweating a lot, your body is still hard at work healing and building new tissue to repair what was injured. Good hydration also helps to reduce muscle soreness and to flush toxins out of your body.
Pro Tip: Drink water and natural fruit juice instead of sports drinks with added salt and electrolytes, especially if your injury is still swelling. Too much salt in your diet can cause you to retain water and increase swelling.
Stay Active, If Possible
Going from 100 percent to nothing can be quite a challenge, especially for serious athletes that are used to playing their sports nearly every day. The good news is that you don't have to completely give up physical activity because you are injured. While your injured body part does need time to heal, it is actually beneficial to add some light cardio throughout the week to your recovery plan, injury permitting.
Getting your blood pumping boosts your immune system and reduces inflammation, two very important aspects of recovery. Try to incorporate various bouts of light exercise into your day while recovering. Exercises to consider could include swimming, light floor exercises, and simple yoga or stretching, depending on where your injury is and its severity.
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of recovery from injury. Getting at least 7 to 9 hours of good sleep helps conserve your body’s energy for healing. As you sleep, more blood flows to your muscles, bringing oxygen and other nutrients that assist in repair. Sleep also produces HGH which helps build new tissue at a fast rate.
The key here is to not just lounge around the house and rest, it's to actually sleep! Nap in the afternoon, and make sure that your house is cool at night to allow for deep restful sleep. The more time you spend sleeping, the more time your body has to heal!
A sports injury can be devastating, as it sidelines us from the things that we love to do. Believe it or not, your emotions play an important role in your healing process. Allow yourself to be sad, don't hide your feelings. This isn’t a time to be “macho” or “strong.” Don’t spend too much time on what “could have been.” Yes, a sports injury can disrupt plans, but your reality after injury is to heal so you can get back out there.
Regardless of whether you have a long road of recovery ahead of you or just a few weeks, a good attitude can help speed up your recovery. Now is the time to set small attainable goals for yourself as you recover. These goals can be as simple as one additional rep with a resistance band or stretching your muscles a little bit farther each day.
Remember that your injury is temporary. Try to stay positive, no matter what! Allow yourself to heal properly and be patient with the healing process.
Prevention is Key
We know how hard it is to be injured. No athlete likes to be sitting at home or watching from the sidelines. Fortunately, many types of sports injuries can be reduced or avoided. Make sure to warm-up before each workout. Include cardio, active stretching, and sport-specific preparation into your warm-up routine to adequately get your body ready for strenuous activity or exercise.
Our recovery tips, along with the advice of your therapist or doctor, should have you back on the field, out running, lifting, or playing whatever sport it is that you love to do with a higher degree of safety and within an optimal recovery time.
If you recently suffered a low back, groin, pelvic, or hip injury, our patented CORESHORTS™ utilizes a series of angled elastics (Core Activation System) to help you recover from injury and stabilize your low back, pelvis, and hips as you return to strenuous exercise and full function. Check out our line of CORESHORTS™ today!
March 26, 2020
Focus on Your “Core” Instead of Your “Abs”
To improve your running (and set that P.B.), you need to do more than run. You should train and strengthen yourself mentally and physically, too. Core stability workouts help to improve your running form, reduce injury risk, and boost your overall athletic performance. A weaker core also leads to faster fatigue. Here our sports performance experts provide 5 core exercises to make you a better runner.
What Exactly is the Core?
Your "core" isn't just your abs. It’s actually everything from your shoulders down to your hips. That means that your core also extends to include your shoulder girdle, mid-back, low back, obliques, glutes, hamstrings, and hips. When working your core during training, make sure to target these areas to prevent running injuries and perform at your peak.
How Often do I Need to Work My Core?
Clearly, the core is key to sports performance. But, how often do you need to be exercising these muscles? Many long-distance runners skip their core workout to go on a run for lack of time in their training schedule. However, many endurance runners have weaknesses laterally on the outer muscles. By correcting these muscle imbalances, you will run more efficiently.
You don’t have to spend hours in the gym doing sit-ups and crunches. In fact, you can skip those exercises as they won’t give you the functional strength you need to run. Core workouts can be effective even just done once a week for 30-minutes or so.
Even if you only have a few minutes, focus on integrated core exercises (check out five of our favorites below) to strengthen and stabilize the front, back, and side of your core in one move. That way you can make the most of the time you have!
How a Stronger Core Makes You a Better Runner
Your core impacts pretty much all parts of your body. When you run, you slightly twist your upper and lower body. Your entire body is involved in the movement. Since the twist motion originates in the core, you’ll want to focus your training to include core stability exercises.
When you do, you can expect to see some of these performance benefits:
- Protect your low back and lower injury risk
- Deeper abs (rectus and transverse muscles) produce more power and speed
- More stability and better range of motion
- Fewer muscle imbalances that can cause you to over- or under-stride your gait
- Overall improved form thanks to stronger responsive oblique muscles
Power up your workout with one of our three stability levels of support. CORESHORTS™ patented design improves optimal motion and is raved about by runners across the US and Canada. Shop now to see the why for yourself!
The Best Core Workouts for Runners
Try integrated core exercises that maximize movement. You’ll recall that your core has three dimensions (front, side, and back), and it’s more than just abs. These five exercise options aim to target all three areas of your core at the same time and are key to incorporate into your training plan!
A nice way to start or end your core training, the Superman exercise targets lower back muscles and helps maintain stability in your hips.
We love this exercise because there are so many options - regular plank, side plank, on your elbows or straight arm, even moving up and down! The power of planks is astounding. This exercise works your shoulders, back, and abs with no equipment needed.
Train your obliques and the transverse abdominis muscles. The rotational moves like this really target the muscles that keep you more steady for those long-distance runs!
This move works your low back and the top of the glutes, which are both areas where distance runners tend to get sore.
Windshield WipersAlso known as metronomes, this exercise works your external oblique ab muscles that cross like the “X” on our shorts from your ribs down to your pelvis. Windshield wipers work your lower back a little bit too! Endurance runners swear by this move for building rotational core strength, which is needed for your run.
These exercises are three-dimensional, integrated core moves so your entire core benefits from the movement!
Core Strength is Key for Runners
Remember, your core stabilizes every part of your body. The point of core strength isn’t to have six-pack abs, it’s to stabilize your spine and protect your back from injury while you run!
Integrate core exercises into your training plan. Do your own core workout, try integrated core workouts in a group, or do whatever best works for you - but make the time for them. Another key to assist your best performance? CORESHORTS TM - a functional stability system to optimize motion. Shop CORESHORTS™ now to find the pair best suited for your stability needs!
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*Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in CORESHORTS blogs do not replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.
March 23, 2020
We provide the only anatomically correct support system, thanks to strategically angled elastics! This localized circumferential compression to the low back and pelvis mimics the anatomical cross support of your core anatomy.