This week has been all about preventing injuries. From warming up, cooling down, foam rolling and sports nutrition, our CSSM practitioners have put it all together to keep you at the top of your game.

Injury prevention part 1:  the warm up 

A warm up is a vital and often forgotten component of any exercise or sport. It allows for the body to get used to the demands and loads about to be applied in a gradual and controlled way. 

Your average warm up needs to cover 3 main areas; 

  • Joint and muscle preparation 
  • Helps to work joints and muscles through their available ranges and prepare supporting ligaments. This can also mean specific muscle activation you’ve been advised by your therapist or coach. 
  • Cardio component (heart, vessels and lungs) 
  • Raises body temperature and readies the heart and lungs for a higher demand and oxygen requirement. This can be skipping, riding, a light jog or anything that raises your heart rate. As a guide, you should still be able to hold a conversation with someone at this level of effort. 
  • Sport specific routine 
  • Prepares the body more specifically for the sport or activity you’re about to do. This one is up to you! What areas do you need to target to make your sport or exercise session work the best for you? These may be drills you’ve completed in training sessions or starting with lighter weights in a warm up set.  

Injury Prevention part 2: Cool down 

In opposition to a warm up, a cool down is geared toward slowing down the body’s pace and preparing it for rest. Like a warm up, the cool down is an often forgotten component of exercise and sport.  

Your average cool down should cover these two main areas; 

Gradual decline from your activity 

  • If finishing with a more aerobic based sport or exercise session, try decreasing to a light jog for 1 minute, a brisk walk for 1 minute and a relaxed walk for 1 minute. This allows time for the heart to slowly decrease its pumping speed and blood pressure to normalise. A sudden stop after aerobic exercise can lead to a sudden drop in blood pressure, leading to light headedness or possibly fainting. 
  • If finishing a weights-based session, begin your cool down by putting your weights away and walking to lower your heart rate. A few bodyweight or dynamic exercises can be completed to place predominantly used joints through their ranges once more, such as those completed in the warm up. 

Stretching and breathing 

  • Taking time to hold a stretch for the muscles used in your session can decrease muscle cramping, enhance muscle length and decrease discomfort from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which can appear 1-2 days post-exercise and last for another 1-2 days or more. While stretching, take the time to breathe slowly and deeply while holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds. 

Check out our Cool down video

Injury prevention part 3: Foam rolling 

Foam rolling is a great tool that can be used in warm ups, cool downs and as part of rest and recovery sessions. 

What does foam rolling do?  

Foam rolling is akin to a massage for your muscles; however, it’s done actively rather than passively, and pressures are dictated by your own body weight. Foam rolling can decrease muscle tension and discomfort, aid in restoring muscle length and temporarily increase joint range of motion.  

Like all therapies, foam rolling doesn’t come without its restrictionsAlways make sure to warm the body up, whether that’s completing part of a warm up routine first or simply starting the rolling session lightly and pressing more firmly over time. Avoid using the roller over torn muscles or injuries altogether unless instructed to do so by your therapist. If you’re having difficulty targeting a particular area, such as the lower back, seek instruction and advice from your therapist. Lastly, try not to rely solely on foam rolling for your warm up and cool down needs. 

Where should I use my roller? Try targeting areas that are historically tight or tense or cause discomfort, and areas that have been previously injured 

How do I roll? If you’re a beginner to foam rolling, start off with a standard, flat roller of 30cm or 90cm. There are some more advanced versions around with lumps and bumps over them, these can be a more painful experience, but can help get deeper into thick muscles. Follow along with CSSM Myotherapist Kelsey in this video series on foam rolling, where she demonstrates how to roll our different areas of the body. For targeted rolling advice, speak to your CSSM practitioner!


Rest days 

Rest days don’t have to just be a day of nothing. Take the time to enjoy a light activity that is different to your training, or compliments your rehabilitation or training goals. 

Some of our practitioners have divulged their rest day tactics. Here’s some ideas! 


Nutrition by Mikaela at KJ Wellness – check out Mikaela’s video on our Instagram!

Correct fuel before you train or play can decrease gut discomfort and increase access to energy, allowing for better concentration and performance. 

  • 2-4 hours before you exercise, eat a meal with an easily digestible carbohydrate, avoiding high fibre and fat. With a high intensity session ahead, also try a snack 1-2 hours beforehand. 
  • Cereal and yoghurt 
  • Toast and jam 
  • Pasta with tomato sauce base 
  • Eating throughout your session depends on the intensity and duration of your sport. 
  • Exercise lasting < 90min should not require additional fuel if done correctly in preparation, however continue to hydrate as needed.  
  • Exercising > 90min may require additional fueling, again of easily digestible carbohydrates, energy bar or banana.  
  • Recovery fuel should be designed to allow the body to repair, build muscle and support the immune system. 
  • Hydration; should start as soon as you have finished our session inclusive of replenishing electrolytes by adding salt to meals or additives to drinks. 
  • A well-balanced meal of carbohydrates, lean protein, natural fat source, vegetables and nuts/seeds/grains. This could be something like a rice and chicken or tofu salad. 


Choosing the right footwear

Different shoes are made for different functions, having the right shoe can go a long way in preventing injuries. CSSM Podiatrist Alicia, recommends: 

  • Agility focused sports: Find a shoe that has good lateral structure to help prevent wearing through the sides of your shoes but also lateral ankle sprains.  
  • Weight/ Gym: A hard soled shoe will give you a strong base to increase your power output plus many tend to have a raised heel to help you get more range in your squat.   
  • Trail Running: A water resistant shoe that has a toe guard and good tread will be your best friend on those rocky, muddy trails.  
  • Long distance runs or walks: A sole with a rocker in the sole can help propel you forward and help take the stress off your tried feet in those last few kilometres. 
  • Short sprint or tempo sessions: A lightweight shoe is all about speed for that next PB.  
  • Casual Shoe: Something that is stable and comfortable.  

Unsure or injured? Talk to one of our CSSM professionals for further help!