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How to Avoid Tearing a Muscle in the Cold Weather

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Coach Robb

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My phone and email inbox has been exploding with questions about pulled muscles all of a sudden. This is a pattern that I have seen for many years - when the weather becomes cold, muscles tighten more than usual bringing to the surface a tight group of muscles (it is rarely just one muscle) which becomes strained because of physical activity.

To prepare the muscle for activity, it is imperative that you follow the following steps to avoid pulling or straining a muscle:

Step 1 - foam roll and gently "smash" the tissue to stimulate and open up the tissue, this will cause warm blood to distribute into the muscles.

for a video series specific to muscle groups.

Step 2 - sport specific low intensity activity for 8-10 minutes. This distributes the blood from around your heart, spine and organs and into the working muscles.

Step 3 - dynamic movements to gradually increase the range of motion of the tissue - Here's the instructional video:

Step 4 - isolate and passively stretch any tissue(s) that feel tight.

for a video series specific muscles.

Note: if you have "knot" within the belly of the tissue, you have what is called a trigger point that needs to be interrupted.

for a video series for each body part to walk you through any trigger points you may find.

Step 5 - ease into your workout slowly and then gradually increase your effort to the indicated intensity levels (using your heart rate monitor) for your specific workout.

These five steps will help keep you from straining a muscle as well as provide a more productive workout. If you have any questions or need anything clarified, please post below and I will answer your questions within 24 hours.

- Coach Robb

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