As a trainer or coach, the first rule of training a client is always “do no harm”. It’s essential that an athlete’s workout is not causing them injury. This is just an absolute baseline. In reality your workout should be preventing injury.
Training for injury prevention means building the necessary strength, mobility, and conditioning of muscles and joints; so they can take the required demands of effort asked of them.
The first step is increasing range of motion. Mobility (active flexibility) is essential to injury prevention, as well as optimising training performance. Any training program should incorporate dynamic stretching and exercises to increase range of motion, as well as building strength and stability in greater ranges of motion.
Mobility should not be an afterthought, but a primary goal within your training program.
Stability goes hand in hand with mobility. You should be able to control your movement through a full range of motion. This means working on stabilisation and movement quality.
You can achieve this by doing single leg work, core work, and integrating complex movements into your workout.
Finally, when you have a base of mobility and stability, you want to start adding strength. This is done through traditional resistance training. Ensure you are using a full range of motion and always in full control during all your exercise.
You can challenge your mobility and stability more by using dumbbells instead of a barbell, and by performing single side exercises like lunges.
Training like this will be just as effective in terms of changing your body composition and building strength, but has the added benefit of making your body stronger and more resistant to injury. This will both allow you to perform better as an athlete, and be able to train harder and longer, without risking an injury.