Injuries are definitely one of the most annoying things in life. Whether you’re an athlete, senior citizen, or just an average Joe who slipped on the sidewalk, it’s important to take the right steps when recovering from an injury. First step post-injury: always seek medical attention before heading back into the gym.
Now, just because you’ve been cleared to work out again doesn’t mean you can go back to doing what you used to. Doctors and health care professionals do a great job of making you pain free, but pain free does not mean strength, functionality, or athleticism. When returning to working out, the plan of action you follow is very important. Here are some things to keep in mind when returning from an injury.
These are placed in order of importance, with the goal of having the injured body part ready for a full workload or sport performance.
· Proprioception (“The unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body itself”)
· Muscular strength
· Muscular endurance
· Muscular power
· Cardiorespiratory endurance
· Sport-specific function
· Post injury prevention / functional training
Bringing it all together – every great rehabilitation, injury prevention, or performance motivated program ends with functional movement.
What is ‘Functional movement’?
Functional movement is whole body, multi-joint movements that mimic both the way we were historically made to move and the way we presently need to move in order to operate at a high functioning level (and with a high quality of life) in our daily lives. For some, that involves getting in and out of a chair, for others that involves performing their sport at the highest level.
Obviously, there are a lot of different things to focus on when coming back from an injury, but it is important to take your time when recovering and returning to the gym. If you didn’t stretch or warmup before your injury, you definitely need to now. After you’re initially injured you are more likely to hurt that same area again, if you’re not careful. Thus, spending more time on a proper warmup and cooldown is ESSENTIAL to preventing re-injury or injuring something new altogether.
If you’ve been hurt in anyway and have clearance from a health care professional to get back into the gym, please make sure you have the appropriate plan of action when it comes to working out again. If you have no idea what to do, or where to start, come in to Dynafit. We would be more than happy to talk to you, your doctor/chiro/physio, etc. to develop a plan that is best suited for you and your recovery.
Injuries and their side effects don’t have to be life long, but without proper management, they will be.