Are you flexible but still getting injured?
I’ve been here myself. And being able to relate to a situation is an extremely powerful tool. You don’t necessarily need to have experienced a back injury in order to understand a back injury, however having been in that place, I know how emotionally crippling it can be.
I am a big fan of yoga, I didn’t use to be, but that is simply because I didn’t understand what yoga was supposed to be for me. When performed correctly, yoga is a powerful down-regulation tool, in a much needed “go-go-go” society.
However, there is a lot of passive stretching going on. By which I mean you are getting into or close to a position you’d like to obtain and holding that position for a duration of time. There are also certain elements of yoga that require a great deal of active control. Big thumbs up in that case.
Typically, if I have someone who’s come from a 3-5 day a week yoga setting, a participant, less likely a teacher, I have someone who’s end range positions look great. bottom of the squat looks great, overhead squat looks great, pulling positions look easy to get into. The problem often comes when adding load.
A great deal of passive stretching does not prepare the body for holding those same positions under load.
Equally, no passive range means they can’t get into the position in the first place, so loading the position is just as likely to create injury.
“Enter Active Range”
Strength training should be completed through a full range of motion.
“Strength is gained in the range it is trained” – Poliquin.
If an individual has a very large range of motion and wants to maintain that range of motion or indeed get stronger it’s time to start educating the body. The body is smart and does not allow you to push too far past your limits, every time you train a limited range of motion, you send a message to your body that a portion of its current range is not useful. This is why at METHOD we always drill into people, full range before load. Yogis come in at an advantageous position in this case because they can get straight to work on strengthening.
From here on let’s just categorise Yogis into people who are generally flexible and get back to the point – you’re flexible but you’re getting injured.
Injury occurs at the point at which a tissue's capacity for load is exceeded.
Tissue = muscle/bone/ligament/tendon.
What this means is that if I get hit by a 2-tonne car and the load-bearing capacity of my hip was 150kg, my hip comes off worse.
The injury often occurs at end range where the body has not been loaded as often or as a result of moving too quickly through a current range.
The body is an excellent self-healing machine and if we apply the right amount of stress to tissue, it comes back stronger given it’s been provided with the time needed to. As with most things, if we apply too much stress we break.
So, if you’re someone who is getting injured whilst squatting, you should, contrary to popular belief, as long as movement mechanics are fine, be doing more squatting. With lighter loads, and longer range. You cannot improve a position whilst avoiding it. You wouldn’t go swimming to improve your running ability, You wouldn’t go to Olympic lifting in order to improve your rock-climbing ability.
If you need further help with injury prevention, get in touch and let's make you bulletproof.