There are two types of injuries - catastrophic and movement.
For example a broken foot. In the case of catastrophic injuries, make the person comfortable, use first aid where appropriate, and get them to the appropriate medical treatment.
For example a heel striker who gets skin splints over time. Work to understand the fault and then make the invisible visible to the flyer. Work with them on appropriate mobility strategies to improve range of motion so as to improve their mechanics. Help them understand how to correct this issue.
If the flyer is having issues during the workout, desensitize the tissue by getting it moving. i.e. if you tweak something, start to walk around. Then give it low level compression – compression pants, keep it wrapped. This helps the scar tissue heal. If possible use ice to help with swelling.
The key to having longevity in health and fitness, and staying injury free is mobility. Here are the 4 most effective ways to tackle mobility:
THE TWO MINUTE RULE
You must hold a position of restriction like a hamstring stretch, for 2 minutes or more to actually have an effect on the tissue. So, dig in and find a time that you can really spend time working on where you are tight. I do this before bed while watching a movie or reading a book. Pick 2 or 3 things to work on and spend 15 to 20 minutes.
COMPRESSION IS KEY
Find a place you are tight and apply pressure using something like a lacrosse ball, foam roller, tennis ball, anything will do. You can move while you are putting pressure on the muscle or you can find a single trigger point and stay on it. Two minutes! Try and avoid going too deep right away as your body will tense up and defeat the purpose of compression, which is to break up tight muscle and scar tissue. A couple of our favorites are calf smashing on the KB handle, using the trigger point roller on the IT, quad, glut, or lats, using the lacrosse ball on the gluts, TFL, around the scapula, just to name a few.
Static stretching, (stretch and hold), doesn’t do much for mobility and actually decreases performance levels and leads to injury when done before a workout. Your warm up should look a lot like what you are going to be doing for the activity itself - called dynamic stretching. This involves full body movements that take you through a range of motion. If you are going to do a workout that requires squats, do air squats or lunges for the dynamic stretching warm up. If you are going to sprint and need a lot of hip range of motion, do a leg swing. This type of stretching has shown to make improvements in range of motion, speed, power, and performance.
SOFT TISSUE MOBILIZATION
Our classic Fly Feet move is shin to wall. We must mobilize from a position of restriction.
Blood flow restriction. By far the best solution for acute recovery is to restrict blood flow. It’s simple. Grab a compression wrap and here you go. Locate the tissue that feels tight or sore and wrap on 80% tension right over the sore area. Do a 50% layover with each wrap on the band. Tuck the loose end of the band in and then move your body. It will be tight! Go through a full range of motion for 2-4 minutes. If the legs are sore and you are wrapping the quads then squat up and down, do lunge steps and move. Remember, if something feels sketchy then it’s sketchy - hot or tingly is not ok. Take the band off right away!
When we restrict, or cut off blood flow with compression we do 2 things. First, we compress the tissue, and we should always move while it’s compressed. Moving while compressed will help get any kinks or knots out. Second, when we are restricting blood flow we are setting ourselves up for a rapid return of blood to the area once we take the compression away. With this surge of blood flow back to the area we bring healing properties that will clear out the junk and bring in the good stuff.
Ice baths can serve as a wonderful tool for recovery. That, or you could just go outside and spend 10 minutes sitting in the snow right after your training session… seriously! The cold constricts your blood flow to help your body clear out junk and brings fresh fuel for your body in. The other thing that we really like about ice baths is that the cold provides a quick and very potent hormonal response, similar to the release of endorphins you get when experiencing a “runner’s high”. Your goal should be to make it 3 minutes in water that is 35 to 55 degrees. It needs to be cold enough to make you shiver. Also, when I do this I wear clothes - especially long sleeves. For some reason, it makes me feel like I can manage it better!
FISH OIL OR OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS
This type of fat is found in most cold water fish like salmon, mackerel, halibut, trout. Omega 3’s help with osteoarthritis and helps with decreasing inflammation in the joints. I recommend 6-8 oz of cold water fish that has been wild caught weekly. If you can’t get that, then 4 grams of fish oil from a good reliable source is perfect.
So, how do you know if you should take a recovery day? Three easy ways:
Orthostatic Heart Rate. Take your heart rate while you're still laying in bed. Stand up and walk for 30 seconds. Take your heart rate again. If there is a difference greater than 20 beats, you need a day off.
Do the first round of your workout and see what happens. If your body is saying no, ya gotta listen and dial it back to a recovery workout - 50% effort.
Something hurts. The fastest way to an injury is to ignore your body's signals that something is going on. If something hurts, is tweaked, feels weird, whatever, make the day a recovery day and work on mobility in the area that's calling for it.