Injury Prevention – Smart Preparation
Injuries reduce training time and may prevent you from reaching your performance objectives such as excelling on the Physical Screening Test or getting through BUD/S. Genetic predisposition, poor technique, erratic or inconsistent training, inadequate recovery, poor nutrition, inadequate strength or poor flexibility and/or performing too much work without properly ramping up may all contribute to injury.
Discounting genetic factors, all of these problems are largely avoidable. Proper preparation can reduce the likelihood of sustaining an injury or at least reduce the severity of injuries that do occur. Because of the rigors of BUD/S, candidates tend to incur some injuries at a higher rate than other people who are physically active.
Basic stretching and strengthening exercises can help prepare BUD/S candidates, especially if focused on potential problem areas. These areas include the calf, the gluteals, the ilio tibial band, hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings and shoulders. To reduce the potential of injuries and avoid premature burnout, make sure to increase the time and volume of your training by no more than 5-10 percent per week. For minor or temporary injuries, such as a sore knee from running or a sore shoulder from swimming, you may benefit from performing some cross-training for a session or two as a substitute for regularly scheduled training.
Select an activity that is low-impact, such as stationary cycling or an elliptical machine, and perform approximately the same duration and intensity as the originally scheduled activity. You should be able to perform the activity without undue pain during or after the session. Serious or persistent injuries should be evaluated by a medical professional.
In this first video of the BUD/S Injury Prevention series, watch as a BUD/S Medical Physical Therapist explains proper prevention techniques to help you from becoming a statistic at BUD/S. In a class of 30 students going through BUD/S, six will develop some type of stress fracture.
Information and video courtesy of the Official Naval Special Warfare Website – SEAL/SWCC.