Injury Prevention

This is my first web page on exercise, so I chose to focus on injury prevention rather than maximising your workout. These exercise help prevent injuries that could keep you out of action for weeks or even months.

Bracton De Legibus v. x. (cf. c1240) is attributed to the phrase: "melius & utilius [est] in tempore occurrere, quam post causam vulneratam quaerere remedium"; which translates to: "it is better and more useful to meet a problem in time than to seek a remedy after the damage is done." (Simpson & Speake, 2008) As rephrased by Desiderius Erasmus (c1524) to: "Prevention is better than cure."

Benjamin Franklin rephrased this as the axiom "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" in response to fire safety in 1736. However this again transpires to Health and Fitness. And from my schooling, I always remember that: "A Stitch in time, saves nine."

We have often heard the phrase "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." In medical and fitness, this means that if you don't feel any pain, then you must be healthy.

This is poor advice, since pain (or waiting for something to break) is the last symptom you feel. This is because our bodies adapt and adjust to compensate for a problem; however even this mechanism has its limits and downfalls.

Did you know that the first symptom of heart disease is usually a heart attack?

Therefore doctor's look at blood pressure to approximate heart health.

In general health and fitness, determining the health of your overall body, is done via posture, range of motion, and breathing.

The exercises and precautions here help to prevent injuries rather than repair them.

Bird-Dog bodyweight exercise



  1. Kneel with your hands directly beneath your shoulders nad knees directly beneath your hips.
  2. Lift and extend one arm whilst lifting and extending the oppoite leg.
  3. For core stabilization, bring your naval towards your spine, whilst maintaining a flat-neutral back.
  4. Repeat by alternating arms and legs.
  5. Aim to 12 - 20 repetitions per set.
  6. FOCUS POINT: on the stability of the lumbar spine, pelvis, and upper back during the movement.

Muscle Groups invloved:

  • Gluteus
  • Hip and shoulder movement
  • Hip and shoulder stabilizers
  • BENEFIT: Spinal health


Thompson (2008) says: "A team of small muscles help keep the shoulder stable during movement, and one in particular is weak and susceptible. Fatigue in these muscles during sport is a major cause of injury, so do some lying rotations to guard against this." Lie down on your side. "Make sure your body is in a straight line and your head is supported throughout." [Use your lower arm, either lengthened in the direction of your head, or folded under your head]. "Rotate your arm outwards as far as you feel comfortable holding a light weight (no more than 3kg). Don't rotate your torso or allow your elbow your move forward or back during the movement."

"Do two sets of 25 repetitions" Thompson (2008).

Illustration by Katy Leigh.


Thompson (2008) says: "This simple exercise helps to strengthen the hamstrings and prevent strain. In addition to strengthening exercises, make sure you regularly stretch the mucles, as tight hamstrings can cause you to arch your spine during lifting movements, which is a real injury threat"

Thompson (2008): "Known as a 'Nordic Hamstring' exercise, begin kneeling with a partner supporting your feet as shown. Slowly lower yourself to the floor, using your hamstrings to control the movement. Push back up to the start with your arms, and repeat. Try to keep your body in a straight line from knees to shoulders, without bending forwards at the hips."

"Do three sets of five repetitions" (Thompson 2008).

Illustration by Katy Leigh.


Thompson (2008) writes: "This is a must - particularly for keen footballers. It helps strengthen the glutes and core muscles and will keep the hips stable. Known as the single-leg bridge, begin as if you were about to do a sit-up, with your arms resting on the floor by your sides. Tighten your stomach and glutes and lift your hips off the floor so there is a straight line between knees and shoulders, then hold in this position. Lift your right leg off the floor," [by leveraging at your hip] "bring your shin parallel to the floor, then hold in this position for 20-30 seconds."

Illustration by Katy Leigh

Lying Lower Back Stretch Knee Tuck



  1. Lie on back.
  2. Pull both knees to chest.
  3. Breath in, contracting leg muscles (pull legs out), while holding knees still.
  4. Breath out whilst relaxing legs and pulling knees closer to tummy.
  5. Perform for 6 breadths, twice a day.

Muscle Groups invloved:

  • Lower back
  • BENEFIT: Lower back stretch

Cat Camel Stretch



  1. Kneel with your hands directly beneath your shoulders nad knees directly beneath your hips.
  2. Breathe in: Raise head, open chest, sag back.
  3. Breathe out: Tighten tummy, arch back, tilt pelvis.
  4. Perform for 6 breaths.
  5. FOCUS POINT: on the stability of the pelvis and upper back during the movement.

Muscle Groups invloved:

  • Full back
  • BENEFIT: Lower back stretch

Child's Pose or Back Flexion



  1. Kneel with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and knees directly beneath your hips.
  2. Bend knees to move buttocks towards heels as shown.
  3. Breathe in: Allow breath to stretch back.
  4. Breathe out: Increase stretch by reaching arms forward.
  5. Perform for 6 breaths.
  6. FOCUS POINT: on the relaxing the buttocks towards to heels.

Muscle Groups invloved:

  • Lower Back
  • BENEFIT: Lower Back stretch

Lateral Stretch



  1. Breathe in: Reach up and clasp hands together.
  2. Breathe out: Lean/bend to one side until you feel a stretch.
  3. Breathe in: Reach up.
  4. Breathe out: Lean/bend to the other side until you feel a stretch.
  5. Perform for 6 repetitions (i.e. 12 breaths).
  6. FOCUS POINT: on the stability of the pelvis during the movement.

Muscle Groups invloved:

  • Obliques
  • BENEFIT: Lower back stretch

Assisted Lateral Stretch on Heels



  1. Hold onto object with a hand, as shown.
  2. Sit back onto heels.
  3. Hold for 6 seconds.
  4. Perform for 6 repetitions.
  5. FOCUS POINT: on the stability of the rotator cuff muscles during the movement.

Muscle Groups invloved:

  • Lower back
  • BENEFIT: Lower back stretch


Ringwall, Kris, no date. An Ounce of Prevention is worth A Pound of Cure. BeefTalk [online]. Dickinson: North Dakota State University Agriculture Communication. Available at <> Accessed 25 Jul 2017].

Simpson, John & Speake, Jennifer, eds., 2008. The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs. [e-book] 5th Edition. Oxford : Oxford University Press. Available at <> [Accessed 31 Dec 2016].

Thompson, Kristoph (2008). Personal Training Tips. [printed edition] ShortList, unknown date, p.36a.