Training with/ through injuries
Training with/ through injuries
Following on from all the great posts about nutrition and recovery, I think it’s important to approach the topic of injuries and training. Injuries are common across all sports and throughout the fitness industry- something we hope we won’t have to deal with. However we only have one body and here in Green we push ourselves through gruelling lifts and tough workouts day in and day out- injuries are inevitable right? Yes and no. When it comes to injuries we need to train and think smart. There is always the chance of the freak accident where someone drops a plate on their toe or shreds their shins on a box jump but there are lots of proactive ways we can help avoid injuries.
As mentioned in previous posts- recovery time, nutrition and mobility will all help keep is healthy and injury free. What else can we do? Listening to our bodies is really important. Training through pain, sore spots and ‘little’ niggles might be ok in the short term but remember fitness and health is a long term goal- if something doesn’t feel right- don’t do it. We are not games athletes; we are regular people hoping to enjoy an hour of fitness and fun each day and leave the gym 1% better, happier and healthier then when we walked in. We need to think, will this one movement or one workout hinder my long term goals? In reality that one workout probably won’t make a massive difference to you, as progress and change takes time and consistency. What can you do? Scale the weight. Go bodyweight. Do strict movements. Adapt the movement. There is no shame in changing things to suit your needs.
Two key things have helped me with my own injuries and recovery- attending regular physio sessions and stability work. Everyone has at one stage or another gone for a sports massage or attended a physio for a problem. However I am a firm believer in getting to the root of the niggle before it becomes a bigger problem. Proactive visits to the physio are much more beneficial then reactive visits. I go to my physio every 6 weeks to stay on top of any issues I might be developing. Of course finances don’t always allow for this but just be mindful the next time you are feeling tight and sore and have been putting off that trip to the physio, it may be time for that visit!
Stability work is favourite of mine. As you all know Single Leg Sarah didn’t come out of thin air. I used to have a lot of hip and shoulder pain- mobility was never an issue for me but my muscles were not activating, they were unstable and weren’t doing their job during big lifts. As a result I had a lot of hip pain when squatting and shoulder pain when pressing overhead. Through single leg work and shoulder stability exercises, I have managed to increase my lifts, improve my quality of training and train pain free. Of course I get flare ups but this reminds me to get back to basics and work on activation and stability in movements- not just chase a new 1 rm.
So what if we are already injured? Can we train at all? The answer is yes. As I mentioned there are plenty of ways to adapt workouts and movements to work around an injury. An injury is only limiting when you let it. Use this time to train your weaknesses. If you have a knee injury and always wanted your first pull up- set yourself a goal to focus on until your knee is better. If you have a torn rotator cuff and always wanted to do a pistol squat- practice. Ask a coach for help. We are always happy to help and provide progressions to get you to your goals.
There is no doubt injuries are challenging and can affect how we feel about training. Don’t let it demotivate you. Pick something to work on, set gaols, rest the injury, do the rehab. Most of all enjoy the training you CAN do. It may seem a long way away but you will get back to where you were with the right approach and attitude. Set goals, eat well, sleep well and recover.
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