Many of us suffer injuries in the gym, these range from annoying to severe but how do we continue to improve while also recovering from a gym injury? I wanted to share a few ways in which you can negotiate being injured and continue to excel.
Realistic About Your Injury
Firstly, you need to be realistic about your injury, sounds simple but let me explain. There are people who are actively looking for an excuse to end their workout so any bump, graze or feeling of pain will cause them to end their workout and possibly take a week off to recover, don’t be one of these people. There are other people who will have serious pain in their muscle or have a reoccurring back injury and they will still think it’s a good idea to go max out on deadlifts – don’t be one of these people either. You have to realise how serious your injury is, understand what has caused it and then work around it and allow it to recover.
Test Your Injury First
Secondly, you need to test it. Obviously if you have a cast on or something highly serious then you will likely be waiting on a doctor’s approval but for all these niggling injuries like tweaked muscles, shin splints or shoulder pain you need to be able to self-assess. Light movements and checking the range of movement will quickly tell you how it’s doing without injuring the area further. You cannot give it a little warm up and decide it’s good to go as normal, this can set you back even further.
Modify Your Workouts
My third tip is to modify your workouts and not let one thing ruin it. I was a swimmer and I broke my arm when I was younger. I attended every training session with my arm wrapped up and kicked every lap with a board. There is no excuse for having an injury and giving up altogether. Shoulder problems? Hit bodyweight squats. Broken leg? Get good at crunches.
I will now contradict my last point slightly and tell you that sometimes you just need a couple of days off. Resting your body is not only necessary, but sometimes vital. I think there is usually something you can do but if you are in pain and whatever you do you feel it then just give your body some time. People get mixed up when they read all these motivational quotes that tell us a day off makes us weak, a day off will set you back months, a day off means you don’t want it bad enough but in reality having that day or two might stop you from setting yourself back. I however follow this with reassess daily, don’t be one of these people who claim they need a week off or a month off… you don’t know that so play it by ear and get back to improving yourself daily.
If you are constantly getting injured I would look at your exercise form and also perform exercises to strengthen the injured area to prevent future injuries. A lot of injuries can be fixed by strengthening upper back muscles, shoulder stabilizing muscles and warming up properly.
Take Home Message
Suffering from a sports or gym injury is sometimes hard to take. It can disrupt your routine and set you back a couple of days, weeks or months from your goal. However, there are certain ways that you can still progress and focus on other areas of your body by being smart with your workouts and listening to your body.