What if there was an exercise, or a group of exercises that if done consistently, addressed a common area of weakness or one that often gets injured? That is one definition of prehab and it is one of the areas of focus for Injury Prevention Project. But prehab is more than that.

Prehab is traditionally used to mean performing rehabilitation before a given event, like surgery. One of the most common applications is doing things before (pre) surgery to reconstruct a torn ACL. Some of those things are restoring muscle function (primarily the quadriceps) and range of motion while reducing or eliminating swelling. This is traditional prehab.

Injury Prevention Project uses the term in a slightly different way. We have programs that are designed to reduce an athletes risk of injury. We don’t view that as prehab, we view that as using strength training and physical therapy concepts in program to prevent injuries. These programs involve relatively intense exercises that progressively challenge the athlete or person on a weekly basis. These programs will reduce the risk of injury and will also improve performance. Because of this, many of these exercises are done at near-maximal levels and require rest between sessions.

Prehab to us is using exercises to prepare the body for games and events, for exercise and training, and even for life. One of our prehab exercises, is an inverted hamstring walk (click on the image below for a video demonstration). This exercise will not specifically reduce injury risk and it will not improve performance. But it will prepare the body for exercises included in some of our programs, like running injury prevention and ACL injury prevention.

So, for us, prehab is not the restoration of function before an event–like surgery; rather, it is exercise used to prepare the body for the stresses it will undergo.