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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Injuries--it's up to you.

I am friends with loads of fitness instructors. And I'm friends with loads of fitness participants. My data may not be scientific, but I can tell you by observation that the fitness instructors are just as much victims to injury as the novice participants.


For a novice participant, they rely on the instructor to guide them through their workout to improve their health.

For the instructor, they are relying on the hope that the participant will enjoy class SO MUCH that they will come again and again. So sometimes they forget that the primary focus is *improving* the condition of their body, not just impressing everyone! They over do it. They don't talk about form. They push too hard.


The instructor AND the participant wind up injured. The instructor throws out her back or tweaks her neck whipping her hair or gets a stress fracture. The participant executes poor form and torques their knee or rolls their ankle or has such a knot in their hamstring that they can't muster the desire to go to class again and make it worse.

For the participant, unfortunately, all the good regular habits they had been building will crumble and they may never get back into the routine. (Until another January rolls around and they'll try again...until the next injury...wait until January again...)

And for the instructor, they get a sub. Often it's me. WHY? Because I'm not injured! In fact, I've NEVER had a Zumba-related injury.*

It's all so preventable.


Overworking in one area allows other skills and muscles to weaken. Those weaknesses are the doors to injury. I've always said, Zumba 2-3 times per week is plenty. Do other things in between. Yoga/pilates, run, strength training, spin classes, swimming, hiking, or whatever you enjoy! Don't allow your body to become too specifically trained in one area.

And if your instructor is overdoing it to the point of injury, be wary of following their moves too closely or you may wind up injured too!

That's one reason I really LOVE this new STRONG by Zumba® format. It's the perfect complement to your cardio-focused Zumba workout. It builds muscle and strengthens your joints. It improves your endurance and really sculpts your body shape. Because I've been cross-training for years already, my body was ready for introducing YOU to this format. I'm so happy it can come together with such great music to drive it.

Check out some other posts I've written on how to prevent injuries. Key points are a proper warmup/cooldown that prepares the body for movement, good form, cross-training, appropriate exertion level, and what to do about knee injuries. Listen to your body, "move on purpose"--not floppy and out of control, and push yourself when you are able. Take joy in your improvements, not comparing yourself to others.

Take care of your body and it will serve you and those who rely on you well for many years!

*(If you're a fellow instructor reading this--no I'm NOT talking about YOU. This happens to LOADS of instructors. Regularly. And I'm happy to fill-in when you need! But maybe you should start coming to my STRONG by Zumba class--ha ha!)