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MCAS Yuma’s Semper Fit Program Teaches Injury Prevention

By Lance Cpl. Reba James | | August 1, 2013

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The Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Branch Health Clinic is coordinating with the Semper Fit program to provide an injury prevention workshop that educates personnel and their families on how to avoid and prevent injuries at the station group fitness center.

“Marines have to be Marines 24/7 for about four to six years and well, you don’t want to live the rest of your life broken or damaged,” said Anderson. “You don’t want to be banged up and in pain for the rest of your life. The workshop is designed to learn how to stop it.”

The workshop provides hands-on injury prevention training and teaches techniques that assist with injury rehabilitation. The class is open to service members, family members, veterans and Department of Defense employees.

“We are working with the Navy (Branch Health Clinic) to educate everybody,” said Rick Pierce, the Semper Fit fitness program coordinator at MCAS Yuma. “They don’t realize that 90 percent of the injuries we have are from doing mundane things, such as in the fall and winter when you shovel snow or rake leaves. It leads to injuries.”

Injury prevention workshops provide valuable knowledge to physical training and Body Composition Program unit leaders.

Physical training and Body Composition Program leaders from each unit are responsible for conducting weekly fitness training with their Marines. These programs help ensure Marines stay within established body composition standards and present a suitable military appearance in compliance with Marine Corps order 6110.3.

“The workshop shows that keeping good form is important and it’s not what I expected,” said Cpl. Montel Palmer, an avionics technician assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121). “I think that most unit leaders should take a class like this or at least this workshop, especially the [physical fitness test] leaders. They would learn proper physical form on how to properly warm up.”

The workshop incorporates bands, medicine balls, and stabilization balls. The performance of simple activities such as lunges and squats can strengthen muscles to prevent injuries from everyday movements and falls.
“The goal is to provide knowledge and avoid injuries that are preventable, such as runner’s knees,” said Ora Anderson, a physical therapist assigned to the Branch Health Clinic. “It’s one way to start prevention, but there are always going to be tears and sprains, although most of the injuries from the activities we perform are preventable.”

During the first workshop, which took place on July 25 aboard MCAS Yuma, Ariz., participants learned how to properly stretch and strengthen key muscles to avoid injuries, primarily focusing on upper/lower extremities and the lower back.

Additional injury prevention workshops are scheduled at the station group exercise center and Oasis Pool aboard MCAS Yuma, Ariz., on the following dates:

Aug. 8, from 2 to 4 p.m., focusing on the lower back.
Aug. 22, from 2 to 4 p.m., focusing on the shoulder.

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