I flipped a giant tire today during my Spartan workout. Flipped, as in singular. One. Uno. Eins. Once was enough. I’m allergic to sports injuries.
I didn’t need to flip it a second or a third time for both the physical therapist and the athlete in me to know the risk of an injury with this exercise was way too high. I had plenty of other safer leg and low back strengthening exercises in my daily workout routine. Checking my ego at the door while keeping my body injury-free was a much smarter plan than trying to keep pace with the impressively tough athletes I workout with, many of which are half my age.
I quickly dropped my butt low and aggressively dug my fingers under the black beast as it angrily tried to anchor itself to the humid Florida asphalt. I hadn’t flipped a 400 lbs tire in about 15 years but I was ready! Under the eager watch of my Spartan Race buddies, I pried the rubber behemoth from its nest with a loud groan and awkwardly wrestled it upward. My low back creaked, my hips moaned and my knees griped as the round monster slowly rose to its tread. As I thrust the dominated creature onto it’s back as it moaned a hollow “thud”, I convincingly announced: “….last #*@% time I’ll do THAT!”
How many times have you injured yourself only to regretfully say: “What was I thinking?” It’s a frustrating predicament and, as we age and hopefully we get wiser, it’s a situation we eagerly try to avoid.
Avoiding Sports Injuries Start With One Question
My solution: Before engaging in a new exercise, activity or event I ask myself one powerful question:
“Is the RISK worth the REWARD?”
It’s that simple. Only you can answer the question because only you have to live with the outcome. For me, the reward of flipping a tire was minimal because the risk of an injury was at way too high of a cost. It was an easy answer for me.
Reward Outweigh Your Risk of a Sports Injury?
Looking back at previous injuries in your life, how would you have answered the Risk – Reward question prior to the injury? With some overuse injuries or freak accidents there is no way to predict something in your body was going to tweak, pop or tear. But more times than not, we do have an opportunity to alter our path to the doctor’s office.
Ask the Question
By no means am I trying to divert any of us away from cross training workouts to avoid all risk. Lord knows most couches in today’s society have reached their seating capacity! My message is to think before you blindly jump into new exercises or workouts to help reduce your risk of an injury. Asking yourself the powerful Risk – Reward question before you start will help you avoid careless injuries as you gain strength and conditioning while you enhance your health.
Maximizing the long-term benefits of your workouts starts with avoiding sports injuries. As you increase the volume of your workout routines, it’s wise to substitute lower risk activities for higher risk exercises such as tire flipping.
Here are some smarter alternatives for athletes interested in reducing the risk of more aggressive exercises:
Higher Risk >> Lower Risk
Tire Flipping >> Body Squats, Kettle Bell Swings, Med Ball Wall Throws
Box Jumps >> Lunges, Burpees, Star Jumps, One-Legged Box Squats
Dead Lifts >> Wall Sits, Dumbbell Cleans, Bear Crawls
Hanging Knee Tucks >> Crunches, Leg Flutters, Med Ball Throws
The Bottom Line
Asking yourself the question “Is the RISK worth the REWARD?” before major changes in your workout and your life can help you avoid sports injuries and heartache. It’s a simple way to help you to stay in the game of life by saving you pain, $$, stress, downtime and sleep. MDR