David Beckham, the world renowned soccer player, has just recently been forced to take the bench because of a fully ruptured Achilles tendon (news article here). Having a ruptured tendon is bad enough, but this happened right before Beckham was about to go play in his last World Cup, a suitable finish to his incredibly successful athletic career. It will be months before Beckham can return to training and even longer before he can play again. It’s almost too obvious to say that it’s terrible luck and a very sad situation for any athlete to undergo.
There is a valuable lesson here, though. Beckham’s injury was NOT contact-related. He didn’t get hit, bumped, or slide-tackled. His Achilles tendon blew off without ANY contact whatsoever with another player. This was a non-contact injury, meaning that Beckham simply moved awkwardly and ultimately the force of his own bodily movement is what resulted in a career-ending injury. Another way of saying this is that there was a weak section in his leg and it was only a matter of time before something got hurt.
Here’s the footage of how it happened. Notice how his left leg hyperextends backwards…
David Beckham’s Injury
It’s important to note that non-contact injuries are incredibly common, not just among athletes, but anyone who participates in some physical activity (and even those who don’t). I ultimately spent 3 years in physical therapy (6 different physical therapists, and several “specialists,” some of which told told me that I would never be able to run again), all because of a non-contact injury I sustained from… running? Yeah, I didn’t know running could be bad for you either. Lucky for me, I know better now (5 tips for the Perfect Run).
Non-contact injuries are quite common and include ACL tears, muscle pulls and tears, and joint hyper-extension, among other things. Studies have shown that a majority of sporting injuries result from non-contact situations (like this study which concluded that 70% of ACL tears occur in non-contact situations.).
The Bottom Line
What kills me is that non-contact injuries are also the most preventable form of injury because you can protect your body through a proper strength and conditioning program that incorporates prehabilitative training. This is exactly the reason why I perform a daily Intu-Flow joint mobility session, and practice Prasara yoga several times a week. These things were created specifically for this purpose, to prehabilitate the body against injury. Not only that, but I’ve learned how to specifically target areas of the body to prehabilitate based on my chosen physical activities. If I’m going for a run, then I’ll be using specific warmup and cooldown methods that are catered to running (more info here). If I’m backpacking, then there’s a distinctly different routine that I will go through. Same thing with frisbee, or soccer, or anything else.
You see, the Circular Strength Training system teaches you how to zero in on movement. It breaks movement down into a concise framework, called the 6 degrees of freedom. It’s like a vocabulary for human movement and you can use it as a reference guide for how to prehabilitate your body for any given activity. And I mean ANY…
Sitting down all day? Yep, there’s a way to counter-act the negative conditioning effects of that.
Work on cars all day? Yep, that too.
On your feet all day? Mmhmm.
No matter what the situation, taking ownership of your body and learning how to effectively prehabilitate yourself against injury is the best thing you can do to prevent a side-lining or potentially career-ending injury.
I want to make sure that every moment I spend training is going to benefit me not just in the future, but immediately. That’s why I recommend both Intu-Flow and Prasara yoga all the time because there’s much more benefit to be had than just injury prevention. If you want to be able to relax under pressure, improve your range of motion, release tension, and amplify your physical performance, then you absolutely must check out these CST programs.
To your health and success,
CST, CST-KS, NSCA-CPT