Whether you’re just starting to find your groove in the gym or you’re a competitive bodybuilder, injuries can happen to us all. When you push your body, sometimes you can go too hard and have an injury – like cranking it out on that extra mile run or simply have a minor accident like tripping during a box jump.
Regardless, it’s important to listen to your body. For common issues like small muscle tweaks or strains, resting will work wonders. Most of the time, a little time off from the gym won’t set you too far back from your goals.
For gym junkies, it can be hard to stay away or modify your workouts, but trust me, if you recover correctly, you’ll come back better than ever. Even if you have a bigger issue like recovering from surgery, here are some things to remember:
If you’re recovering from an injury, it’s important to realize it usually doesn’t get better overnight. Take time to make sure your body is feeling 100% back to normal before diving back into your normal routine. Take time to see a specialist if you suspect something serious. Even if it takes some time to figure out the best treatment, it’s worth it to make sure you’re completely healthy. A week or two off may seem like forever. When in reality, this is a short length of time to allow for healing.
LEARN HOW TO MODIFY
Usually, you can work around any injury and still get a good workout in. Muscle strain from lifting? Try some low-intensity cardio. Shin splints from running? Do some upper-body blasts with dumbbells. If you’re not sure what’s the best way to modify, ask a trainer for some tips.
DON’T OVERDO IT
As you’re easing back into your workouts after an injury or some time off, don’t go right back to the level of intensity where you were before. Slowly work back into your old routine to make sure your body is adapting to training. If you ran 3 miles a day before spraining your ankle, it’s probably a good idea to start with walking and slowly transition back to jogging and running as you feel better.
RECOVER FROM INJURY THE RIGHT WAY
In addition to keeping a balanced diet and getting plenty of rest, make sure you’re getting the right micronutrients to keep you healthy. A multivitamin and fish oil supplement will help keep your joints feeling good. Sipping BCAAs and glutamine are also great for recovery to help your body break down food into fuel.
TRY NEW THINGS
Sometimes it can be frustrating that you can’t go as hard as you’re used too after an injury. Rather than feeling like it’s a set-back, take it as an opportunity to try something new for your fitness. Yoga, hiking and swimming are great lower-intensity exercises that will still make you sweat. You never know – you could find a new passion by getting out of your comfort zone.
Felicia Williams is a fiery fit mom and elite nationally-qualified USAPL powerlifter from Nashville. As a busy working mom, she balances the demands of work and parenting a toddler while perusing her fitness goals.
Felicia started strength training in 2012 and after having a baby in 2014, she’s lost over 15lbs and gotten over 200lbs stronger. Now she is a national level powerlifter in the 52kg weight class.
As a 4’10” 114lb woman, she wants to show that strong women come in all shapes and sizes. In her transformation from average gym-goer to competitive athlete, she loves to share what she’s learned about strength training, nutrition and work-life balance with other women trying to be the best version of themselves.
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Felicia’s website A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING
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