Pre-Habilitation or Pre-Hab is defined as preventative exercise or movements that aid in the reduction of injuries by strengthening the weak areas of your body and/or gaining movement in areas of tightness.
So how do you know what needs the attention and what does not? If you were here at the gym we would perform a Functional Movement Screen on you to assess how and if you can move. But, because most of you reading this are not having the assessment performed on you I will touch on major areas that need mobility and others that require stability. Mike Boyle has written an article called, the Joint-by-Joint approach to training. In the article, Boyle reveals that every other joint in our body needs either mobility or stability. For example, our ankles need mobility, our knees need stability, hips mobility, etc. So what is discovered is a pattern of misunderstanding in our bodies. Low back injuries occur not necessarily because of a weak low back or weak core, but because of a lack of hip and T-spine mobility. So it turns out that the site of the injury or site of the pain is not the source. In most cases, with the exception of impact injuries, when someone is injured it is because of something else that has affected that area. Below is an image of the body with areas that require either mobility or stability:
The hip and shoulder joints are the joker cards of the joints. Seeing that it requires both stability and mobility to operate effectively the way we attack the process is slightly different. For example, the hip joint can be both immobile and unstable, thus causing issues in both the knees and the lumbar spine. Similarly, the shoulder joint is designed for mobility and therefore needs to be trained for stability. If there is too much mobility in the joint the opportunity for injury is increased.
Now that the areas are defined ajoint by joint imagend understood, we can better produce movements and programming.