Home' Air Force News : October 14th 2010 Contents 21
October 14, 2010
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WHILE some injuries
can't be prevented,
the risk of develop-
ing common overuse
injuries can be reduced with proper
Here are three injuries common to
Air Force personnel and how to avoid
Shin splints normally occur when
someone who has not run much for a
while begins to pound the pavement.
It is actually a blanket term for a
number of conditions and you should
always get your condition properly
diagnosed. However, from a fitness
perspective the recommendations are
all pretty much the same.
To avoid shin splints:
Build up slowly. If you haven't
run for a while, don't start run-
ning 10km every day. Run 3km to
5km two or three times a week and
steadily increase your volume.
Get new shoes. Even if your
runners look fine, if they are more
than 12 months old or you wear
them all the time, the cushioning
will have compressed and they
won't be absorbing the shock of
Long hours and hard
physical work can take their
toll and lead to injury. Don
Overdoing it and what to
do about it
landing on hard surfaces as well
as they used to.
If you have flat feet or orthotics,
make sure your shoes are suitable
for your foot type.
Run mostly on soft surfaces. The
human body wasn't designed to
run long distances on concrete.
Limit your total distance.
You don't have to run to develop
good fitness and, if you have feet
issues, old injuries or are heavier
than average, you should limit your
weekly running and develop your
fitness through metabolic conditioning
workouts or alternatives such as rowing.
Lower back pain
A strong and fatigue-resistant back
is your best defence against acute
lower back injuries and chronic pain.
To strengthen your back, incorporate
deadlifting into your fitness program.
The deadlift is the number-one exer-
cise for developing posterior chain
(basically, all of your backside) and
core strength, and its benefits extend
well beyond the lower back to the
legs, arms and grip. Add three sets of
five repetitions (reps) of deadlifts to
your weights workouts and your lower
back will thank you.
For developing endurance, ket-
tlebell swings are my first choice.
Like the deadlift, they give you a great
return on your time as they develop
lower-back endurance, leg power and
cardio fitness -- all in one hit. Throw
them into your circuits or perform
multiple sets of 20 to 50 reps with
short breaks between sets.
Add some odd-object lifting for
all-round core strength and some ab
work, and chances are you'll avoid
chronic lower-back pain.
Shoulder injuries are often a result
of an overemphasis on chest training,
a lack of back work to balance the
chest work, or poor shoulder flexibility.
To develop strong, stable and healthy
shoulders, try the following:
Turkish getup. This is an ideal pre-
habilitation exercise that strength-
ens all the small muscles that sta-
bilise the shoulder during pushing
and pulling exercises.
Balance pushing with pulling. If
you are working on your bench
press or pushup numbers, that's
fine -- just don't forget to add an
equal or greater amount of pulling
work such as chin-ups and rows so
your chest doesn't overpower your
back and you end up with a tight
Stretch your shoulders and chest
after each upper-body workout.
For more information on any of these
exercises or advice on program design
and training, contact fitness@octogen.
DON'T STRESS: Warming up before any sport can reduce the risk of common injuries.
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