From personal experiences battling with shoulder/biceps injuries, I want to the share lessons I have learned to train harder and stronger without putting your body at an increased risk for injury. Remember not all injuries are preventable but by following these guidelines you can certainly reduce muscle strains, tendinitis, and overuse injuries.
1. Perform injury prevention exercises for your rotator cuff. It is very important to perform these light weight exercises often because as your shoulder muscles grow the ligaments around them will not have enough support.
2. Take time off: I have seen a lot of athletes that train 6 or even 7 days a week, and after going through my injury I have to say that this is one major mistake. You will need to give your body rest to allow muscle break down recovery. For example, try a 2 or 3 days split routine with a following rest day.
3. Do NOT workout through pain! If you are feeling pain on certain exercise movements do not continue! Alternatively, try to pick another movement that doesn’t trigger the pain.
4. Increase flexibility. Stretching exercises after your work out can increase flexibility and helps improve against injury. Stretching should absolutely be incorporated into a daily fitness plan.
5. Limited overhead press movement. I used to do over head presses every other day which can be a major role in wear and tear.
6. Do extra warm up! When I say extra, I mean BREAKING A SWEAT for your warm up!
7. Avoid grabbing and holding the bar/dumbbells with an extremely hard grip.
8. Be sure not to move or rotate your wrist up and down while performing your exercises. Make sure your wrists are fixed and with proper technique during an exercise.
9. Hydrate! Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after any physical activity. Consider decreasing or stopping practices/competitions during high heat or humid weather. Be sure to wear light clothing.
10. Eating a healthy well-balanced diet with a good complete nutrition plan plays a big part in preventing injuries. Without a balanced nutritional diet you are more likely to weaken your immune system which can further lead to an injury.
11. A recommendation I have to assist your body from preventing injuries, while also safely pushing it further, is to often visit a recovery center. Try deep tissue massages, chiropractor body adjustments, p-waves, and ice/heat equipment methods.
12. Finally, recognize injury and get help early. I’ve seen a number of young athletes who had serious injuries and didn’t do anything about them. Now their damages have progressed and worsened over time. If you feel a pain that has lasted a few days to a week, get yourself checked before it is too late.