One out of three Canadians suffers an injury during the summer months and most of our injuries are caused by falls. Research shows older adults are the most vulnerable to falls (63%), but half of adolescents and 35 per cent of working-age adults have suffered a fall over a one-year period.

GoodLife personal trainer Kim Jory says there are steps we can take to build up our strength and stability, balance and flexibility to reduce the risk of falls, twists and tears.

Jory recommends ‘prehabilitation’ to avoid injuries, and recover more effectively when you DO hurt yourself.

What is prehabilitation?

Prehab exercises build ‘functional fitness’ which is the ability to perform life’s daily activities (both required and recreational) with the required strength, stamina and suppleness to keep you moving the way you need to. 

Performing functional exercises regularly (as part of an exercise routine) can not only make you more resistant to injury but can also help correct or lessen the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, and ideally keep you out of the rehabilitation phase.

Prehabilitation exercises can:

  • Improve posture and correct movement patterns
  • Equalize imbalances in muscle length, joint alignment and flexibility
  • Improve core stability (upper, lower and left vs right)
  • Boost muscle strength, endurance and power
  • Connect your mind with muscle movements and joint stability

Jory suggests building these 5 prehab exercises into your workout regularly to help prevent injuries:

Abdominal brace: Consistent core stability helps support the lower back, stabilize your pelvis (aka hips), improves balance and can help you catch yourself BEFORE you fall.

Hip hinge: This move requires you to bend at the hip while keeping your spine and neck in alignment. This is a great move for building hip and core strength to support the lower back.

Single leg squat: This move builds leg and hip strength, stability and balance for day-to-day activities such as walking, jogging, climbing, bending over to pick things up (gardening, golfing.

Single leg hip bridge: Strong glutes help support the lower back and can improve alignment from the hips to the ankles.

Plank/Hover: This exercise builds overall core (abdominals, back, shoulder girdle and hip) muscles, for greater strength, stability and endurance.  Not only that this move will help boost confidence that in the case of a fall, your mind and body will remember how to ‘break your fall’ and ‘brace’ against impact forces.