Exercising through an Injury 

Written by | Wellness

man in locker room

When injury strikes, you may be forced to throw your regular exercise routine out the window. While some injuries require complete rest, others may still allow you to perform certain movement and strength exercises.

Consider the following guidelines to keep relatively active while healing, but remember to err on the side of caution and consult your doctor before trying anything new.

Work on Mobility and Stability

Poor posture, incorrect form or muscular imbalances can effect the whole body. You can use foam rolling, trigger points and stretching to release tight or inhibited muscles and allow correct range of motion in and around joints.

Go Low-Impact

Low-impact exercises are a great way to keep fit without placing excessive load on strained or weakened joints. Walking, swimming, cycling and rowing are examples of low-impact cardio. Pilates and yoga are great low-impact exercises to build flexibility and core stability. Weight training can even be low-impact as long as you are avoiding plyometric (jumping) exercises. Squatting, dead lifts, pull-ups, push-ups, dumbbell chest presses and rows are also examples of low impact strength exercises that could be used depending on your injury. 

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Work Around It

If your shoulder is injured, you may still be able to work on core and lower-body strength with planks, squats and lunges. If your lower body is injured, consider working on upper body strengthening using a kneeling stance or seated on a bench for chest, back, core and shoulder exercises.

Pick Safer Exercises for Now

Closed-chain exercises (in which hands or feet remain fixed in place) generally place less stress on joints. Start by using resistance-band tubing or your bodyweight for resistance before considering the heavier weights that you may have been accustomed to pre-injury. Using a cable machine or dumbbells instead of the barbell can also be a safer option when recovering from certain shoulder or back injuries.

Make Adjustments

An injury is often a sign that it is time to slow down a little and assess your exercise regimen. Read about any sport or fitness discipline in which you engage and how common injuries associated with them occur. Ensure you have a balanced exercise program that incorporates pulling, pushing, core strengthening, hip-dominant and knee-dominant exercises.

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Last modified: April 23, 2019