• Dr. Nicole Knapp

Maximize Your Fitness Performance

Ready for the madness? 67 basketball games in just 19 days! March madness kicks off March 17th. Whether you are a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, here are some tips to help you maximize your performance and minimize injuries on and off the court.

Warm Up

Stretch before you begin your workout to help prevent muscle strain and to promote flexibility. Then, start your routine with a few minutes of cardio. Cardio helps get your blood flowing, increases your heart rate, reduces the risk of injury, and prepares your joints and muscles for exercise.

Watch Your Form

Don’t be afraid to ask the experts. If you start at a new gym, ask for an introduction to the equipment or consider personal training to help maximize your results and minimize inquiry risk. An incorrect technique can lead to injury. Watch your form and start slow. Don’t worry about the weight. Get the form and technique right, then add weight and strengthen your muscles later.

Start Slow

Start slow and take baby steps when you first start working out or when you try a new technique. A slow start gives your body time to adapt and helps prevent injuries. Overtraining or trying to do too much too soon is one of the most common mistakes. If you do too much cardio or weight lighting, you could damage your muscles and put unnecessary strain on your body.

Find Your Pace

Plan your own workouts and do them at your own pace. Everyone has their own goals and different body types. What works for someone else may not be the best choice for you. Don’t feel like you have to do what others are doing or that you have to lift as quickly as others do. Take your time. If you are trying to build muscle, you can get better results strengthening your muscles by going slowly and really feeling the burn, rather than racing through the motions.

Mix It Up

Consider varying your routine so that your muscles have time to rest and recover. One day you can focus on your legs, the next your arms. Variety keeps things interesting. Also, consider rotating between various techniques to work different muscles. We all think to work our biceps and glutes, but what about your hips, knees, or shoulders? You need to work all of your muscles to avoid injury and maximize results.

Cool Down

Incorporate a cool down phase into your routine to prevent the build-up of lactic acid, which may cause cramps and discomfort. Then, conclude your work out with stretching to help relieve muscle tension. Stretching during your cool down is the best time to stretch.

If you have concerns about your routine or exercise, ask your chiropractor. Dr. Nicole can tell when you overdid it at the gym and can provide advice to maximize your fitness performance while reducing the risk of injuries.

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