Maintaining Workouts with an Injury

As an athlete, getting injured sucks, especially if your doctor tells you to rest to fully recover. After hearing that, you probably start to worry about maintaining your fitness levels you worked so hard to get to. But just because you have to rest the injured area doesn’t mean you have to quit working out altogether. With your doc’s okay, maintaining workouts with an injury takes careful planning but can help you keep those gains.

Isolating the Injured Area

When you want to build up a specific area, you look for isolated exercises that focus on that muscle group. When you’re injured, you want to do the exact opposite. You identify what exercises will affect the injured areas and focus on avoiding them.

All other exercises could be fair game. Have a shoulder injury? Then you and your trainer can focus on lower body exercises. Have a hurt foot or ankle?  Work with experts to find upper body and core exercises to keep you moving.

Alternative Exercises

We should note that whatever hurts will not appreciate and high intensity interval training (HIIT). Assume you’ll need to take a break.

But you can still keep up your fitness with other exercises, like hitting the pool for a workout. Underwater exercises can give you a serious workout that has high resistance yet low impact.

On dry land, you can also utilize resistance bands, stationary bikes, rowers, or plain old walking to literally keep moving. Any beginner or low impact routines can work too, like using lower weights at higher reps.

By keeping an open mind, you might even find an activity you love as much as the one you’ve been sidelined from. Plenty of triathletes learned to love swimming and bicycling after resting from running injuries.

Non-Exercise Exercises

If the extent of your injury requires more strict rest, focusing stretching and flexibility can help. Some doctors will allow sauna time, gentle yoga, or sports massage, too. (We know a good massage therapist if you need one.)

You can also consider options like “exercising” good food choices and taking additional supplements to aid in healing and recovery. And don’t underestimate the importance of mental health, too. Meditation and breathwork can keep your spirits high and optimism strong while your body rests.

Keep in mind that while you nurse an injury, your goal isn’t to make progress. Instead, you want to focus on staying fit until the injured area heals enough to resume your regular program. Even when you get the green light to resume regular activity, listen to your body.

Need help crafting a workout with an injury? Based on your doc’s recommendations, our expert trainers can craft a program that keeps you on track while you recuperate. For more information, call 724-691-2769 or stop by the front desk during staffed hours to get started.