If case you haven’t heard of the phrase Pre-Hab which is short for prehabilitation I will go into more depth as to how I use it with my clients. With all of my clients I will do a FMS (functional movement screen) to develop an overview of potential muscle imbalances which may lead to the body compensating by recruiting other muscles to achieve the desired function we ask it to perform. We may not see this as a problem at first but over time it can lead to injuries.
In my view Pre-hab is a way of using strength training as a preventative method to potentially lower the risk of injury due to weakness, tightness, muscle imbalances etc. This is done with basic exercises and stretching which we would not typically think of doing when going to work out in a gym. However if you were ever injured and had to go to rehabilitation for a physical injury you may have been asked to do simple exercises such as bridging, body weight squats, leg swings, I’s, Y’s, T’s just to name a few.
When these exercises are used in conjunction with the FMS test results I am able to establish a solid foundation in my clients and help them prevent injuries before they occur. Depending on the individual the length of time I spend on doing the corrective and pre-hab exercises will vary. Once I feel confident that I have given the client the best possible chance of functioning in daily life or sport then I will then move into for stabilization/strength phases of the program.
Since I work with a lot of tennis players I am constantly reminding them to work on their posterior chain as they are in a sport where they are producing repetitious movements with in a very high velocity in front of their body. Most of the muscles used to produce this force are located on the anterior side of the body leaving the posterior to decelerate this movement. If these muscles cannot decelerate the forces being produced then injury is almost imminent (a lot of shoulder impingement).
Though the case above is relating it to sport, we can also view others who are not in sports athletes as well. If you take an individual who works in a factory and has to do a repetitive motion over and over then you will also see the same potential for injury to occur.
It has become very clear that understanding the demands which are placed on our clients body's through daily activity is important. With this knowledge we can help keep our clients as healthy as possible and allow them to puruse a happy and healthy lifestyle.