Injuries happen, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. Maybe it was during a workout, reaching for something, getting out of the car, or wrestling with the kids. Now you’re achy, sore, maybe a bit painful and you’re not sure what to do or if you should continue to go to the gym / run or whatever training you enjoy .
When an injury happens, there’s many ways you can be prepared and continue to train around it. It’s a rare day when here at Elite Performance Therapy we would tell a client to stop training entirely; and the research is clear that training while injured is likely helpful in the rehabilitation process. Here are 5 things to think about when trying to train around an injury.
- Lighten the load; increase the reps
By decreasing the weight, we decrease the total amount of work we are performing. This can be especially helpful if you’re feeling a tweak under a heavy load but not under light loads. Once you find a weight that is comfortable and pain free, you can work up gradually to your normal weights.
2. Change the range of motion
Feeling some knee pain with a full squat or single leg squat? Try doing a squat to a reduced target i.e. a bench, box, or med ball. By making your range of motion smaller, it may alleviate knee pain. If you still have pain we would strongly suggest seeking advice from our Physio, Daniele or Sports Therapist, Isy.
3. Pick a similar but different exercise.
Having pain in your shoulder while doing a barbell push press? How does a dumb bell push press feel? The barbell forces our shoulders into a specific range of motion, where the dumb bells allow the shoulder to be more mobile. Or maybe you’re having pain with landing during a box jump. Try a lower box, or switch to a single leg squat to a bench.
4. Train the opposite side
There’s a principle called irradiation, which means if we train a muscle, the muscles around it will also get stronger. This is because the nervous system acts as a complete unit. If you work one muscle, it’s impossible not to recruit the muscles around it to help support. This works the same way if your right hip is hurting. If you train the left hip, the right hip has been shown to lose less strength and the surrounding muscles also benefit (think low back, hamstrings, quads in this case).
5. Focus on Nutrition and sleep.
When training around an injury, it gives us an opportunity to check in with our bodies general health and well being. Maybe work has been particularly stressful or the kids have to be in approximately one million places all at once. Maybe the dog is taking up too much space in your bed?! Taking a step back to look at our sleep hygiene or checking in with your fueling can help the healing process tremendously.
Often the gym or chosen sport is where we go to feel better and de-stress. Just because you’re injured doesn’t mean you can’t still do great work. Having a few work arounds and ways to modify gives you the freedom to continue to exercise while recovering.
Have some questions or concerns? We are here to help 🙂 Contact us here or send us a WhatsApp to +34 635 508 964.