Injury-proofing exercises

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Protect your shoulders with around the worlds

This takes the shoulders through a complete range of motion. Lie on a flat bench with two light dumb-bells behind your head. Lift them in an arc over your torso until they reach your navel, then move your arms out sideways into a flye position and return the weights to the start. This will work your deltoids, traps and pecs. Aim for three to four sets of ten to 12 reps.

Do Romanian deadlifts to safeguard your back

The benefit of this over any other deadlift is that your knees are bent, allowing more control and flexibility through the hamstrings. Tight glutes, hamstrings and calves are the main reason for lower-back pain, so performing reps with a light weight can help stretch out these muscles. With feet hip-width apart, grip the bar while keeping your knees slightly bent as you lower the bar to your shins. Aim for three or four sets of ten to 15 reps.

Injury-proof your knees with sissy squats

Sissy squats are popular with bodybuilders because they strengthen the lower quadriceps which connect to the knees, allowing them to squat heavier weights. Using bodyweight alone, keep your hips and waist straight but bend your knees to allow your body to fall backwards as your knees come forward. Raise your heels from the floor. Lower your body until the knees are almost fully flexed. Extend your knees to return upright as your heels hit the floor. Aim for three to four sets of ten slow, controlled reps.

Use a stability disc to protect your ankles

The most effective way to strengthen your ankle is to work the joint through its full range of motion. If you have weak ankles, start by standing on a stability disc and performing upper-body exercises such as shoulder presses. Your ankles will have to work hard to keep you stable. As they become stronger, do some single-leg lunges and static lunges with your feet on separate discs.

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