Training with Injuries

By May 13, 2011 Training Tips No Comments

Hardcore Stormies Hit The Gym

This is a bit of a different post today… it’s not really dealing with protein shakes or training supplements, but rather a “training tips” post. This was brought on by an injury I recently suffered, a dislocated shoulder.

The culprit? Dumbbell pullovers. I’m still not 100% sure what happened, but with the weight stepped up perhaps a bit too much, my shoulder popped right out of its socket during one of my sets. Rather than drop the thing on my head, I had to complete the movement with my shoulder grinding out of the socket. Luckily, it popped back in as I sat upright, so things could have been a lot worse. But, regardless, the damage was done, and while surgery wasn’t needed it has required quite a few trips to the physio, and seriously stepping off the gas when it comes to training. So I thought a post could come out of this, and hopefully it helps you if you’re ever injured in the future.

Training with injuries

First tip: Don’t return to training unless you have the go-ahead from your doctor or physio. I can’t emphasise this point enough. Everything else that follows needs to follow from this one point.

Go light

Seriously. Your worst enemy when you’re injured is your ego. When I first went back, I was so tempted to step things up a bit, but the physio had warned me absolutely nothing above 50% of my old weights for a few weeks. It’s hard not to jump back into it (especially when you’re getting strange looks at the low weights you’re on). Don’t give in, and stick with the light weights.

Higher Reps

Along with the above, step up the reps to compensate the lighter weights. Make sure you use keep the reps slow and concentrated, and feel the target muscle… be aware of your injury and keep an eye on it to feel how it is coping with the reps.
By performing frequent, low-intensity exercises, and higher reps, you can activate the injured area and accelerate the healing process by getting the muscles moving. Especially if you do it early on after the injury.

Partial Reps

If it’s just the full range of motion that is painful, then try going with partial reps. This means that you only lift in the strongest range of movement. Normally you’ll need to stick with the machines here instead of the free weights, unless you have a very patient spotter.

Take your time

The problem that you’ll find is once the pain seems to have moved on, you’ll be tempted to jump straight back into it. The reality though is that you will have lost more muscle than you would expect in your weeks off. So the worst thing you can do is step back up to the weights you were lifting before the injury. Your body simply won’t be ready for it, and all you’ll end up doing is reinjuring yourself. Sad, but true.

Use proper form

I’m still working on this one. I’m not sure what happened in my case, but I know my form was obviously slightly out, or this probably wouldn’t have happened.

Anyway, I hope this post helps you in your training. If you like these types of posts, let me know… otherwise I’ll stick with the product reviews :)

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