OUTDOOR ATHLETE:

IN THE EVENT OF A CRASH:

When you ride mountain bikes, road bikes or run on or off road. At some point something is going to go wrong.

You could trip off a curb, trip on a root or on a road bike, meet the dreaded tram tracks.

Riding mountain bikes, is all about crashing, well....Not really.

But if you take part in any sport it is inevitable that you will have an accident at some point.

But, what should you do in the event of an accident? This blog will cover three common injuries, and how you can manage these.

Let's get into it:

*Before we start it is always a sensible idea to get properly checked out if you feel you have had a serious fall/crash. Don't be afraid to seek professional help*.

1: Trips/falls/OTB:

When you hit the ground it can go two ways. It can damage your pride, or you can  injure your body in a more serious way.

So, lets picture the scenario: You fall, it hurts but you are sure nothing is broken, you haven't banged your head and aside from feeling tender there is no serious damage.

What has happened and how can you fix this?

Usually when you fall, you land funny. This can jar certain muscles, nerves or lead to bruising certain areas.

For example:

I had a slow over the bars recently, I landed pretty funny on my shoulder and now it feels pretty tender. I am struggling to push any force through it, but mobility is there. It feels tight and tired. I have probably just banged some soft tissue (muscle) and caused a bit of inflammation. This is why it hurts to hold it in a certain way, and typing in quick succession is also tiring. So how can I fix this?

Training, keeping it strong and mobile is key to managing this kind of injury, the key here is to work the smaller muscles in that area and the rotator cuffs to stimulate some movement and loosen it off a little. Stretching dynamically also helps (movement based).

Keep in mind you only need to go light here and focus on movement, not muscles to make sure that you help strengthen up the areas effected.

It is also beneficial to take preventative measures here to strengthen up the muscles around the areas that you commonly damage when you fall:

Areas like the chest, upper back and shoulders protect the collarbone and shoulder joint.

Strengthening up the lower back and glutes is great for runners especially when it gets icy and it is easy to slip backwards.

Think about the way you fall in your sport, and look at the muscles around that area. Strengthen these up and keep them flexible to help prevent damage when falling.

2: Collisions:

When you ride bikes, you are going to hit things.

When you ride off road it is inevitable that you will one day kiss a tree. If you ride road bikes you have to be aware of car doors, cars pulling out, and pedestrians stepping into the road.

Collisions happen.  So how can your body be prepared to take the hits?

"Muscle is the best form of body armour"

It goes without saying that muscle is a better form of body armour than fat. It has a function to power the body. 

So building up a degree of muscle is a sure fire way to prevent impact damage when you do smash your shoulder into a tree.

I'm not talking bodybuilder size here. I am talking compact areas of strong muscle, that are resistant to impact and stress.

This is one advantage of weight training.

It is also a good idea to make your body more flexible, increasing the range of motion in your joints can also make you move better when you do hit the deck, if you are rigid and stiff. You have less movement before something breaks, and trust me. If you hit a tree, it's not the tree that is going to move out of your way.

So build some strength, and work on mobility and flexibility.

3: Impact/repetitive strain:

The final injury is the most common, repetitive strain injuries and impact injuries are very common in sports like tennis, and running.

We all know about the dreaded tennis elbow. or shin splints. In this instance I would also dub back pain a repetitive strain injury for road cyclists.

Repetitive strain injuries essentially stem from the muscle being over used, or used in a certain way time and time again. So for example:

Tennis elbow: Constantly hitting the ball.

Back pain: Constantly holding one position on a road bike.

Shin splints:  Constantly hammering your legs (road running).

Repetitive strain injuries are essentially a weakness in the muscular system that has been exposed due to the muscles being tired. Common ways to overcome these are by making sure all the body is well trained, for example:

In a deadlift the lower back and hamstrings are the primary muscle (agonist), where the quads, abdominals and pecs are the secondary muscles (antagonist) used in the movement.

When performing an exercise there agonist will always tire out. Having a strong set of antagonist muscles will help prevent poor form and injury.

Here is a list of the three sports mentioned  through this blog and how the agonist/antagonist muscles:

Cycling agonist:

Neck.

Triceps.

Lower back.

Quadriceps.

Vastus medialise (teardrop near the knee).

Calves.

Cycling antagonist:

Chest.

Biceps.

Abdominals.

Glutes.

Hamstrings.

*MTB is similar to road cycling but can change when riding downhill.

MTB downhill agonist:

Neck.

Chest.

Shoulders.

Triceps.

Quadriceps.

Calves.

MTB downhill antagonist:

Upper/lower back.

Biceps.

Hamstrings.

Running antagonist:

Lower back.

Quadriceps.

Calves.

Running antagonist:

Abdominals.

Glutes.

Hamstrings.

Looking at the agonist/antagonists here you can clearly see what you should be working on in the gym to prevent injuries like shin splints and lower back pain.

Strengthening up these areas of muscle is important to keep you performing at your best.

I hope you have found this article informative. And useful.

If you have any questions feel free to email me. And have a chat.

Stay safe, Stay outdoors.

Adam.

 

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