Weight Lifting Your Way to Injury and Pain
Lockdown is done……for now.
The gym is back open……for now.
Our title is a little confusing – weight lifting is the best way to avoid injury and pain, in my opinion, but if done wrong – it can definitely lead you down the path of injury!
We’re all back in the routine and working hard in the gym trying to shift those pounds we gained in isolation or getting back on track with our physiques from where we left off in March.
Now we all want to get back to how we were before but we need to be careful – especially where weight training is concerned.
It can be tempting to get back to our same workouts, the same amount of times per week and the same intensity of training with the same weights.
Now it all depends on what you have been doing in lockdown in regard to your fitness as to the way you should approach your return to exercise and lifting weights.
Take a read on our handy tips for managing a safe return to the gym or you may find yourself with an injury or pain you didn’t want!
Remember - #Preventionisbest
Here are some ways you can help yourself back to the gym – safely!
1. Adjust Your Program
When going to the gym – you may be following a training program. If you’re not – you probably aren’t making the best out of your sessions. Having a plan to follow is a great way to measure your progress and make sure you get the results you want.
A return to gym program focusing on the main strength based exercises, split carefully over the week with sufficient rest will help your body to readjust.
Think about when you haven’t done that one exercise in a while – you do it – then you can’t move for a week! That’s lost training time and potential injuries.
A return to gym program focusing on a reduced weight, frequency and with more rest will help your body get back in sync with the gym. Aim to do a program of this type for 4 weeks until you are back up to speed and your body responds.
If you have trouble with programming – hire a trainer or get an online PT to help you with the process!
2. Reduce Your Weight
As we mentioned before - it may be tempting to just pick up where you left off and lift the same weight as before. Now unless you had weights at home or were doing something similar – this may be difficult – and dangerous
Our bodies do have muscle memory and you will get back to where you were but diving straight back to your squat or bench press limit may not be sensible.
Drop your weight down by around 50% of what you were doing, assess how it feels and slowly build from there. You will find soon enough that your body will remember the movement and your strength will jump quickly over the course of a few sessions.
3. Mobility and Muscle Activation
Focus on a good mobility routine at home or pre workout. Mobility is making sure that your joints are mobile enough to move and work efficiently. Mobility routines are typically simple movements of joints which promotes better movement. If you haven’t performed certain exercises in a while you may have lost some range of movement which can harm your workout and potentially risk injury.
Not to be confused with stretching. Stretching is lengthening of muscles and is not beneficial to weight lifting as it relaxes muscles and doesn’t get them firing.
Muscle activation can typically be done with exercises involving elastics and light weights as a great specific way to prepare your body for the movements it has ahead of it.
Great exercises for activation include rotator cuff band exercises for the shoulders and glute band work before doing leg exercises – please see our exercises below for more information.
4. Body Maintenance
Come and see us! We are very busy with people doing exactly this – caring for their bodies instead of treating an injury.
Focus on prevention of a problem and care for your soft tissues and joints by getting treatment.
Clients typically tend to spend less on caring for their body in comparison to someone coming in injured. When you are in pain it can take longer for your body to control the symptoms and for you to return to training.
Top bodybuilders and athletes that we see usually have a regular session to help maintain their soft tissues and reduce any imbalances which lead to injury. It’s always a longer task to get an injury back on track versus preventative care.
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- Weight Lifting Your Way to Injury and Pain - April 11, 2021
- Snap, Crackle and Pop – What is actually happening when your joints make these noises? - February 3, 2021
- Mobilise Your Spine! - December 14, 2020