How to prevent an injury or maintain training through it

There are a few inevitabilities in life. Injuries are a part of life, and despite our best intentions, as we age our likelihood of having dodgy knees, shoulders and backs increases and with the increasing amounts of in activity and constant poor posture, from using our electronic devices, this is no surprise.

And when you add exercise to this amount of dysfunction it’s a matter of time of when you will get injured. So with all this doom and gloom what’s the point of trying right? WRONG!

Movement should be part of your every day.  In Fact, I would suggest you look to work towards 5 hours of movement, each week, to see the true benefits of exercise, and whilst I can’t guarantee no injuries, this makes a clear path to avoid, as best you can, or deal with them when they arise.

First let’s look at what we can do to avoid injury:

Improve movement – You need to be able to perform basic movements with little restriction and no pain.  This is a blog in itself so we won’t go into great detail but you should be stretching and moving daily.

Improve movement under load or fatigue – If you can squat well with no weights but have bad form when you add some weight then you are going to get injured.  Ensure that your form stays as consistent as possible once you start getting stronger, your joints will thank you for this.

Allow proper recovery – Some think that grinding themselves into the ground with excessive training is some sort of badge of honour – others are smart.  You should look to ensure your sleep, nutrition and general rest matches the amount of training you are doing.

These are things we will cover more in future blogs.  Now what do we do when injuries happen?

Get out of your head – Injury isn’t the end of the world! It may take a day, a week, a month or a year but you will overcome injuries with the correct amount of effort and consistency.  Don’t be the person who ignores the signs or trains through the pain, this helps no one.

Seek professional advice – If it’s more than a sprain or strain and just won’t recover with basic rest then go seek a professional opinion.  Not only should the physio diagnose the problem, they should give you recovery advice and exercises.  With that advice you should be able to speed up the recovery and move forward.

Train around the pain – Just because you’re injured you don’t need to stop all together.  If you have a bad knee then you should be able to train the upper body just fine, and if your shoulder isn’t quite right then your legs can still train. I will often do rehab or mobility work between sets of bigger work, to ensure my training doesn’t go on for longer than it needs too.

The take home message? Do the work EVERY DAY – 

I know doing 3 sets of 10 in external rotations every day is boring, but you know what’s more boring? Moaning about being injured. So do the mobility, activation and recovery protocols every day and you’ll be back to just moaning about the weather instead, which we can all agree is much a more important topic.

Now go get the day!!