If you haven’t had an injury yet, consider yourself lucky. Many people who exercise and play sports find themselves having an injury at some point.
Yes, you should treat your injury immediately. There’s even a handy acronym – RICE. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Seek out appropriate professional help from a physiotherapist, sports chiropractor, MD or massage therapist. You may be advised to stop exercising until you have recovered, or perhaps you will be advised to take it slow for awhile. Either way, before you come back to working out there are some key things to consider.
1. Are you working out on your own or with someone to help and guide you?
At our Calgary bootcamp, our personal trainers are there for you. They will provide modifications and advise that can be key in your long term recovery. If you aren’t working out with someone who can guide you during your recovery, you should continue seeing your treatment professional for advice and guidance.
2. Are you going to pick back up right where you had left off?
One of the most important pieces of advice our personal trainers have for injury recovery is to step back from the intensity that you had prior to your injury. Your fitness level may be high and you may consider yourself to be advanced, but until you have done rehab work and restrengthened the injured muscle and the area surrounding and supporting it you should drop your weights down and reduce your intensity.
Our personal trainers or your treatment professional may advise that you limit the range of your movements to help you progress in your recovery. A good example is a knee injury. If you are recovering from a knee injury, your physiotherapist or personal trainer may advise keeping your squats shallow and avoiding impact activities, such as sprints, jacks, or burpees. Our personal trainers can modify your program so that you still get a workout but are at less risk of re-injury.
If you know that you’re the kind of person who really likes to push your personal fitness level and sees having to reduce your intensity as a very difficult thing to accomplish, there’s another consideration in recovery that you should think about.
3. Relearn proper exercise technique
Sometimes our injuries are a result of bad form during exercise or sport. Accidents definitely do happen, missteps can be made, and whammo, next thing you know you have an injury. As part of the process of coming back to working out, consider taking the time that you will be working out at a lower intensity level as a chance to get back to the basics with your form.
Take a shoulder injury, for example. If you have to drop your weights down to zero for shoulder presses due to a rotator cuff injury, then concentrate on your form. Ask one of our personal trainers for guidance on whether your arm position is correct and if your movement is tracking properly. Really feel what muscles have to move during your exercise.
Remember, you’re not just trying to get the injured muscle back up to speed. You are also involving the stabilizing muscles that help significantly with the movement. Taking your time getting back to your previous intensity level will help you strengthen all the muscles involved and reduce your chances of injuring the muscle again.
Always here to inspire and motivate you, the Vitality Fitness Team