9 Top Tips for Training With Injuries
By Matt Ho APAM
If you’re anything like me, you will hate missing exercise sessions, but the reality is that most people who train will be injured at some point in their lives. That doesn’t mean you have to stop training altogether! Here are our top tips to help you keep training when injured:
See a health professional: They will be able to definitively diagnose your injury and inform you as to whether it is possible to continue training. Be sure to ask your treating health professional about exercise that can be undertaken with your injury, and any relevant restrictions.
Don’t listen to the internet forums or “Dr Google”: Individual experience is not a substitute for a thorough assessment and diagnosis from a qualified professional. In fact, often taking advice without first understanding the extent of the injury can be detrimental to recovery!
Adjust loads: reducing volume and frequency may help to ensure you don’t flare up your problem if the injury is an overuse issue. Alternatively, it may form the final phase of rehabilitation for a acute/subacute injury
Have adequate rest: Some injuries require a period of rest and recuperation. Listen to your health professional about expected return dates. A few days off with active recovery (e.g. walking, swimming) might be enough to enable the injury to settle
Adjust training type/intensity: You may need to dial down the intensity of training or the type (e.g.match simulation) to ensure you are managing load on an affected area and not making the injury worse. For a runner, this may mean reducing the speed at which you run; for a footballer this may mean avoiding full contact drills
Listen to your pain: This seems obvious, but a little pain is usually ok. But when the intensity of pain increases, and is prolonged, you may need to reduce training intensity or rest completely. An increase in pain in the affected area the day after training is a good indication you may need to reduce your training load/volume
Adjust body parts: Use your lower limb injury as an opportunity to start doing some more upper body work, or vice versa!
Perfect your remedial exercises: Don’t forget about the exercises to specifically improve your affected area. Put these in as part of a normal workout and speed up your recovery
When in doubt, don’t push it: Remember that you have think about training for the rest of your life, not just the next week. A missed session here and there is nothing in the context of your training life, so don’t stress if you miss a workout!