A Beginner's Guide to Prehab

A Beginner's Guide to Prehab

Today, we’ll discuss why prehab is necessary for anyone that wants to live an active and healthy lifestyle. We’ll take a look at why prehab is helpful for athletes who push themselves to the limit through activities like CrossFit, long-distance running, or swimming. In addition, we’ll explore the benefits of prehabilitation for more casual fitness enthusiasts as well.


What Is Prehab?

Prehab is a strategy that athletes can use to improve their performance and avoid injuries. Prehab programs are often uniquely tailored to match a person’s abilities, goals, and weaknesses.

The overall goal of a prehab program is to help you successfully perform certain movements while decreasing the risk of injury. Prehab work is indispensable if you’re lifting heavy weights, running long distances, or playing a contact sport.

A lot of athletes go through rehab after injuries, but many healthcare professionals encourage prehab routines so athletes have a better chance to stay active and it will help the recovery time if one does get an injury.


Who Should Do Prehab?

Prehab routines should be a part of any active person’s. From elite athletes to anyone who wants their body to feel a little better, prehab can benefit just about anyone.

Prehab programs can be used to prevent injuries, but they are also helpful when someone has been injured and will be going through a total knee replacement or joint replacement surgery. Prehab programs can help decrease recovery time after surgery and get an athlete back on the field or in the gym sooner. Most prehabtraining programs focus on improving range of motion, strength, and stability. 

Below are a few examples of people who could benefit the most from taking a proactive approach to injury prevention through a prehabexercise program


Athletes Who Get Frequent Injuries

Athletes put their bodies through rigorous workouts and test their limits daily. Because of all of that intense training and physical output, the risk of injury in sports is extremely high. That’s why prehab and proactive injury prevention can be so beneficial for athletes.

The most common sports injuries involve back pain, joint problems, or issues with the knees, shoulders, and ankles. Injuries in these areas prompt many athletes to regularly go through physical therapy, either as a post-injury intervention or a preventative measure against getting hurt in the future. 


Anyone Who Deals With Post-Workout Pain

If you have post-workout pain, your body is telling you something is wrong. Soreness is unavoidable, but pain is different. 

Back pain, knee soreness, ankle pain, and shoulder problems are all common workout-related issues that can limit your quality of life and athletic performance. Luckily, prehab can set you up to avoid injuries in the gym and continue enjoying your workouts with minimal pain.


Fitness Enthusiasts of All Levels

Ultimately, if you want to live an active lifestyle, prehab programs are for you. 

Working out asks a lot of your body. Whether your gym routine includes heavy weight training, HIIT, CrossFit, or just some old-fashioned cardio, you can benefit from prehab exercises. Over time, prehab can increase your body’s resistance to injuries by strengthing and stabilizing the muscle groups used in your workouts.


What Are the Best Prehab Exercises To Try?

Some of the most important aspects of a prehab routine include exercises for reducing lower back pain and shoulder pain.

When getting rid of or preventing lower back pain, you want to focus on mobilizing surrounding joints, increasing your range of motion, and practicing proper form for movements like squats and deadlifts.

Shoulders are used in many major lifting movements, and if a shoulder isn’t 100%, it can be detrimental to your success in the gym. If you’re focusing on your shoulders in your prehab regimen, you’ll want to emphasize stabilizing your hips and core, as well as your shoulders themselves.

The following are some prehab exercises to try to keep your body healthy and functional.


Shoulder Taps

Shoulder taps are used for the stabilization of the body. 

The exercise requires you to be in a push-up position. You’ll tap one shoulder with the opposite hand and get back into a push-up position. The goal is to engage the core and keep your body from turning or swaying while performing the movement.

Shoulder taps are good for the whole body. This move works on shoulder strength, core strength (which helps with back pain), and hip stabilization.


Yoga Squats

The yoga squat is an ultra-popularprehab exercise because it conditions your whole body. It strengthens hips, glutes, and quads, all the while improving mobility in the shoulders, lower back, upper back, knees, ankles, and hamstrings.

The exercise is performed by doing a full squat while raising your arms straight up and keeping a good posture.



Cossacks are good for hip mobility and upper body posture. They strengthen the hips, groin, hamstrings, and quads.

The cossack is performed by taking a side step and squatting down on that one leg while keeping the other leg straight.


One-Leg Deadlifts

One-leg deadlifts are great for stability, range of motion, and strength. Athletes with knee problems often practice one-leg deadlifts to isolate specific muscles and focus on stabilizing the core.

This exercise aligns with both squats and deadlifts. It involves hinging the hips while keeping a good posture of the upper body.


Renegade Rows

Renegade rows are ideal for stabilization and strengthening the whole body. 

This type of row is similar to shoulder taps, but instead, you perform a rowing motion with a dumbbell. All parts of the body are being worked on, which makes it an excellent exercise to have in your prehab routine.


Dead Bugs

Dead bugs really focus on the core. 

This move involves stabilizing multiple muscles while strengthening the core (which includes everything from the hips, abdomen, and lower back). What makes dead bugs so useful is their ability to reduce the risk of injury to a wide array of muscle groups. it is vital to keep the core stabilized while moving the limbs, which is very important to perform injury-free movements.


Wrapping Up

When asking what the best exercises are for a prehab program, there are no definitive right or wrong answers. Each person’s prehab routine should be uniquely tailored to their workouts and physical fitness goals. However, you can talk to a physical therapist, someone in the sports medicine field, or a personal trainer for some professional in-personprehab recommendations.

As you have read, prehab programs are very important when it comes to staying healthy. We all have our own goals, but everyone wants to be able to continue to perform the movements necessary to live the lives we want.

Prehab programs do not have to take a huge amount of time, and they can keep you from getting injured in the gym by strengthening and stabilizing key muscle groups. However, if you are injured and need surgery, prehab programs can help you get back to the lifestyle you enjoy living.

All in all, prehab programs should be incorporated into every athlete’s training program. The benefits of these proactive routines are too big to ignore, and they can keep you active and injury-free without taking too much time to implement them into your schedule.



7 Guidelines for Injury Prevention | Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

Slide show: Exercises to improve your core strength | Mayo Clinic

General Surgical Procedure Overview | Cleveland Clinic

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