When starting a training program, especially if you haven’t trained in a while, you need to be mindful to not strain or pull a muscle. I know everyone wants quick results, but you must be aware and realize your training should mimic that of a marathon not a sprint. By this, I mean, start in a regressed state and progress your sessions as your fitness level raises.
From our experience, the most common injuries in the beginning of training cycles are strains to the groin and hip flexor. This is simply because most people go from being sedentary for quite some time to hopping right into exercising without a proper warm-up or a proper exercise protocol.
Many adults have jobs that require them to sit for long periods of time, causing shortening of the quads, groin, and hip flexors. They start a training program that requires dynamic lengthening of these particular muscles, which in turn causes irritation or even a more serious muscle related injury. Spending a ton of time in a flexed position, i.e. sitting, and then proceeding into exercising or running in an extended position can be a recipe for a setback.
If you just began an exercise program the last thing you want to do is have a setback or even be in pain. Here are few good tips when you are starting exercising for the first in a long time or ever:
1)Make sure you are performing a proper warm-up. In particular, pay attention to your hips, especially if your lifestyle consists of sitting at a desk, traveling, or anything that requires you to be in a flexed position.
2)Start in a regressed state. I know everyone wants to get after it right away. “Go Hard or Go Home” mentality, right? Actually, if you go too hard in the beginning, you will go home and may never go back. Start easy and progress your training intensity and volume as your fitness level and training age increases. Trust me, you will thank yourself.
3)Avoid running right away if you haven’t done so in awhile. Running will put you in a dynamic extended posture which is something to be avoided in the beginning if you spend a lot of time in a flexed position. Try riding an exercise bike or battle ropes when you begin exercising for the first time in a while as a source of cardio.
We should exercise to feel better when we complete it, not hurt ourselves. We need to be process driven, but we want to avoid getting injured in the process.