How to Not Lose New Members to Injuries

new members

With the New Year upon us, and everyone setting overly ambitious fitness goals, hopefully an influx of new members rush into your facilities. As a gym owner, you don’t want to lose any of these new members to injuries. This is easier said than done, as generally the majority of these new comers to fitness have neglected their health for quite awhile. When you combine this truth with the fact that most of these people are sitting at a desk all day, it is easy to understand their mobility is less than optimal.

The equation we are looking at is poor mobility plus too much exercise too soon – even when performed correctly – equals injuries, which most likely will lead to cancelled memberships and blaming CrossFit, when the blame should be put on the desk.

The next logical question is where does mobility work fit into this new member equation?

I understand everyone only has so much time in the day, so let’s start these new members off with something so incredibly easy it’s next to impossible for them to tell us they don’t have the time, space or make up some other excuse. If you can do this and pick something that’s a self-correcting exercise, which means if you aren’t being supervised by a Coach you still cannot screw this mobility exercise up. Where do we start then?

Lying face up on a foam roller. Yes that’s it; just lay there!                          

I want your new members to start with something simple that will give them results. I am literally asking you to have them just lay on their back and let gravity do all of the work. It doesn’t get any easier then this people. When you lay lengthwise on a foam roller, this, for the most part, places the spine in a neutral position. From there depending on how the arms are positioned, it is a great way to open up the shoulders, chest and arms. The one exception to the “no-one-can-screw-this-up” rule is the head must be in contact with the foam roller the entire time. Depending on how tall you are or how short your foam roller is, your butt may be hanging off the roller.

Where do I start, what is my call to action?                                                            

Start with ten minutes a day just lying there. Everyone has 10 minutes a day.

This is the minimum effective dose. I will also say you can’t over do this one, so accumulate more than 10 minutes a day if you can. Think about how much time you and your members spend sitting either at a desk, commuting to/from work and at home on the couch. Ten minutes isn’t much to ask for, especially when we ask so much of our bodies.

Wes Hendricks
Dr. Wes Hendricks graduated from the University of Western States with a doctorate in chiropractic and a bachelor’s degree in human biology. He owns and operates Rebuild Health and Performance in Charleston, South Carolina. Visit drwesleyhendricks.com or follow him on Instagram @drweshendricks.