You’re at the gym. You’ve warmed up. You’re ready to lie on the bench and start pressing. When suddenly, your elbow starts giving you trouble. Ah, it’s going to be another mediocre workout.
There’s nothing worse than being pumped for an excellent workout only to have your enthusiasm muted by sudden joint discomfort.
Sadly, joint pain is among the most common problems strength athletes face.
But what can we do about it? Push through the pain and hope for the best? No, too much risk.
Today, we’ll take a look at three tactics you can use to deal with joint pain safely and effectively.
Warm Up Well Before Training
As the old saying goes, “You can’t get jacked if you have jacked up shoulders.” At least, that’s how I remember it.
The fact is, too many folks out there are so impatient to get on with their workouts that they barely warm-up beforehand. But pushing your body before you’ve warmed up well is one of the best ways to create unnecessary joint issues.
Imagine that your body is a car. You wouldn’t get in, start it up and immediately start pushing it to the high RPMs before the engine’s warm. So why would you do that to your body?
As little as 10 minutes of dynamic movements, low-intensity cardio, and warm-up sets are enough to get your body ready.
Take Flax Oil
At its core, joint pain is a type of bodily inflammation. There are several categories and sub-categories, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll cover them with the same umbrella.
Now, your typical anti-inflammatory drugs help reduce joint pain and discomfort because they reduce inflammation. The problem is, your body is good at building a tolerance to drugs, and you would progressively have to take stronger and stronger medications to deal with it. Plus, drugs often have side effects.
Now, flax oil is a fantastic alternative because it’s a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown in dozens of studies to help reduce all kinds of inflammation.
So, adding one to three tablespoons of flax oil to your daily meals is a great way to ease joint issues without having to resort to drugs.
Take a Collagen Supplement Before Working Out
Collagen is a gel-like protein within the body and has many effects, including the protection of joints and connective tissues. Collagen strengthens not only connective tissues but also offers protective coating within the joints.
Research suggests that people who suffer from joint issues (be it the joint itself or the surrounding ligaments and tendons) can benefit significantly from taking 7 to 10 grams of collagen close to their workouts.
The reason for the timing is, it takes a bit of time for the body to absorb the collagen and carry it off to where it’s needed. So, if you take the dose an hour before working out, you time it correctly so it can get into the warmed and loosened up joints for better absorption.