Athletic injuries can put a hold on your training programs since you have to recover properly prior to intense training. Injuries are not only physical and can actually take a toll on your mental health as well. Rehabilitation is required to get back into the habit of training. Most injuries require movement and low impact training to heal properly. Let’s take a look at some steps you can take to get back to the gym.
Our bodies take a beating after lifting heavier loads than our body is naturally supposed to be moving. Every now and then you need to take a break from this type of training to prevent injury in the first place. People often think that their “gains” will be lost after taking a week off of training, but in reality you will keep those gains so-long-as you do some type of training.
Low impact training is one solution. This basically involves exercises and movements that do not crush your joints, but have enough intensity while moving your joints through their respective range of motion (ROM). Using an elliptical instead of running is great for allowing your knees some time away from direct impact against the ground, and for light injury rehabilitation as well.
However, if you have a serious lower body injury, then you can choose swimming instead for your cardio requirements.
Upper body injury prevention and rehabilitation is similar, but instead you have to still lift very light weights. This falls under the category of strength training. You are basically performing exercises to strengthen your injured muscles or joints, but of course the load being chosen is very light (2.5-5lbs for rehabilitation after a serious injury). Bodyweight exercises are also okay, but refrain from pull-ups if you have a shoulder injury until almost fully recovered.
Stretching is a common tool for encouraging recovery. When you increase the blood flow to a certain area through training, the nutrients in your body get sent this way as well to help speed of the process of recovery. Static stretching is when you basically pull your joint into its max ROM and hold the position for 30 seconds.
Dynamic stretches are better for when you are recovered further. This stretch variation is when you continuously move your joints to warm them up and increase your blood flow and heart rate for conditioning. When recovering from an athletic injury, you really need to consider stretching for proper and faster healing potential.
After rehabilitating you may find yourself lacking confidence and focus to push past the thought of your injury and possible losses to your gains. When this happens you have to find a way to prepare your mind for blocking stress and improving your mood. Supplements such as NervaCORE work well for this task since it increases your mental focus, mood, alertness, and even has the possibility of increasing your energy levels and fat burning potential.
You have to do something to cause injury rehabilitation to take place properly for an injury. Relying on total rest is not recommended unless your physician says you are not ready for physical mobility yet.