Coming back from injury or time out? Learn how you can get back to the exercise you love ...
Coming back from an injury and time out can be scary, challenging and frustrating all at the same time… but don’t let it stop you from getting back on track.
Before you start always consult with your doctor and physical therapists.
If you have already been assessed, exercises have been prescribed and you are itching to get back to what you love - a great way to continue your progress safely is to enlist the support from an experienced local personal trainer.
Here at Kate Campbell Fitness all our trainers work alongside health professionals to ensure a tailored programme is developed which includes your current therapists recommendations to support you get back to the exercise you love.
Follow these helpful tips to get back your strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness to prevent injury recurrence.
Postural form and functional training
Look at yourself in the mirror or ask someone to take a picture from the front side and back then review how you stand … regardless of the exercise remember form is so important:
- Lengthen through the spine and allow a natural curve.
- Shoulders drawn back and away from the ears.
- Learn how to activate naturally the abdominals and pelvic floor at the same time as breathing! You need this skill before you advance. It’s a must for the men too!
- Strengthen your glutes (squats and lunges don’t always cut it) activation exercises like the oyster and all fours fire hydrant work a treat, add a mini resistance band as you progress. - we stock these little beauties in the gym.
- Hinge from your hip, shoulders set back activate the deep stabilising abdominals and squeeze the glutes as you return to standing. Not allowing the back to take over.
Start all exercises with a small range of movement and perform slowly checking you are not increasing the pain – if you feel increased pain STOP regress and reassess.
Choose the right exercise
If you are a runner and want to get back to running after an injury or haven’t run for a while, its important to take your time and strengthen the areas which will enable you to run effectively and support a smooth return.
Starting off slowly build up your distance by no more than 10% a week and in some circumstances go back to basics - pretend you've never run.
I always recommend my clients use a couch to 5k app even if they are a marathon runner! build up slowly, assess how it feels and be prepared to scale back even if your ego says otherwise!! Walking is fine.
If you have knee pain - find the cause. The route cause of knee pain could be anything from weak glutes, misalignment of the kneecap or problems with your feet. Daily exercises you can do to strengthen around the knee are extremely important. Try a basic sit to stand from a chair 10 reps 3 x a day - or simple step ups and step downs from your stairs
Back injuries - I personally know a lot about this area. The worse thing you can do is stop moving. Mobilise daily and include gentle exercise such as pelvic tilts - if any exercise aggravates your back stop.
When you begin exercising choose an exercise that is less challenging than the exercises you did pre-injury or choose to limit the weight and range of motion of the exercises.
For instance, when coming back from a shoulder injury, decrease the weight you use and then only lift as far as you can while remaining pain-free. When first coming back, you may even want to remove the weights altogether and limit yourself to bodyweight exercises or resistance bands.
Over time, you’ll be able to reach full range of motion. You can then safely increase the amount of weight you are lifting or add more challenging exercises and progressive moves.
Vary your exercise
To prevent further injury its always good to vary your exercise routine - not only will it aid flexibility you will increase body awareness build strength and experience different movement patterns to support a healthy pain free body.
At Kate Campbell Fitness we run over 30 classes a week, here are a few I would highly recommend when coming back from injury.
Pure Stretch - I love this class, its never boring, this is a dynamic stretching routine that is guaranteed to make a difference to your exercise performance and general wellbeing
Another favourite of mine to teach is Core Focus - I would advise everyone to attend at least once. Most people perform abdominal exercises incorrectly, popping out their tummies, holding their breath and putting pressure on their pelvic floor - as a former midwife my goal is to help people understand the importance of correct technique after all NO one wants a pot belly or a weak pelvic floor so lets fix it!
Yoga often thought of as a bit zen like! The classes we have focus on many different types - loved by men and women a like Postural Correction Yoga with Ashton is about strength, whereas Zoe focuses on re-balancing the body through gentle somatic movement to help chronically tight muscles, and Jo’s Yoga for Health and Vitality warms up the muscles and joints through dynamic movements leaving you feeling nurtured and replenished perfect for all runners.
Pilates - again has many benefits the most common reason for attending is increased core awareness, however with Lauren our physiotherapist, pilates is tailored to the individuals in her class - supporting back problems and more learn the techniques to correct muscle imbalances enabling you to move better.
Pilates with Stacey, an experienced instructor takes you through pilates moves designed to sculpt and tone - keeping to the principals of pilates this is a fun class highlighting the many benefits of pilates.
Classes are small, individual corrective support is given throughout - so do check out our timetable you’ll be amazed at the variety.
Regular Massage Therapy
Often seen as a luxury massage therapy should be part of everyones exercise programme, particularly when in comes to injury rehab or prevention. Muscles get tight and need releasing, knots build up and cause unnecessary tension so it stands to reason that to restore balance and harmony throughout the body massage can help.
Sports specific concentrates on that one area - deep tissue perfect for backs legs and shoulders focusing on a deeper pressure releasing tension.
Runners really do benefit from pre and post event massages - get the blood flowing to the muscles and revitalising the muscles following.
As its the Sheffield half marathon soon there is a special offer on at the moment 3 for the price of 2 30 min deep tissue massage £48 book anyone of our 3 trainers.
Need more 1-1 support and personal programmes then do get in touch