Exercising around injuries

Before I start this post, know this - I am not a doctor or a physiotherapist, I am just a personal trainer who has had his fair share of injuries.  So the advice below is just that, advice from my own experience.  Always follow your doctor or physiotherapists  recommendations.

Injuries suck.  Take it from me, I have had a pretty vast array of them over the years and they have been frustrating each time they have happened.  Not only is there the pain factor to deal with, they interrupt training programs and can stall progress if you don't find a way to work around them.

Now this may seem like just common sense, but the best way to keep your progress in the gym from stalling is to work around your injuries.  

Common sense it might be, but it is pretty easy for an injury to derail you.  Especially if you are following doctor's advice.  When I ruptured my Achilles tendon my doctor told me to go home and rest (they told me this both times I did it to be honest).  This is good advice, but they didn't say for how long, or whether I just had to rest my foot.

It can be quite confusing if you don't specifically ask them what you can and can't do.  Obviously with a ruptured Achilles and my foot in plaster I'm not going to be running marathons, but does that mean I can't use some weight machines at the gym and work on my upper body a bit?  Do I need to completely rest in order for my body to do the best job it can healing my injury?

These are questions that you need to ask.  Now to have an injury as severe as a ruptured Achilles isn't that common (except for me apparently), so you most likely won't be under a specialist - you're more likely to be seen by your GP or physiotherapist but you should still ask the questions.

Probably the most important and best question to ask them is: "so what can I do?"

Rather than asking them what you can't do, by focusing  on what you are able to do to keep active it forces them to think a little more deeply about the question.  You may for example be able to get on a spin bike and get some light cycling in with a knee injury - in fact that is a common rehab tool used by physios.  You might be able to remove your moon boot and swim as part of your ankle rehab.  But you won't know until you ask the question.

So don't be afraid to focus on what you are able to accomplish while injured.  The time is going to pass anyway - you may as well make the most of it and keep moving where you can.

I would love to hear how you worked around your injury and kept moving while you healed up, get in touch with me through my website and let me know.


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