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Showing posts with label Sports Injuries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports Injuries. Show all posts

Can I Exercise Around An Injury?



I have a sports injury that I have been trying to work around. Do you have any advice for how to get a good workout, but without interfering with the healing process?"

- George C.


Hello George!

I noticed you didn't mention what type of sports injury you have, so I have provided advice below for the two most common injuries. If your injury isn't for knee or shoulder please let me know and I shall add more Do's and Don'ts for your kind of injury.

Knee Injury Do's and Don'ts

-Focus on upper body in seated and standing exercises.
-Work out the lower body on the floor (glute kickbacks, inner/outer thigh raises)
-Focus on core and stretching
-Cardio only within limitations. Running is bound to be aggravating to a knee injury but perhaps the elliptical is fine. Listen to your body.
-Depending on the injury shallow squats (preferably with a stability ball) can help to strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
-Air punches for cardio can even be practiced seated.

-Do lunges
-Do step-ups

Shoulder Injury Do's and Don'ts

-Focus on lower body
-Add more core and low back exercises
-Try new cardio exercises (cycling, running)

-Use the arm handles on the elliptical
-Many upper body exercises use the shoulders. Listen to your body. You may be able to do bicep curls but not a triceps push down.
-Do bench press (too much weight and shoulders assist the chest and triceps and secondary working muscles)
-Do shoulder exercises unless prescribed by a physiotherapist.

Anatomical Terms for Athletes

Ever had a personal trainer refer to a part of the body using a word you didn't know? Well here is a handy guide to the various body parts / muscles most commonly referred to and likely a few you didn't know.

Well here is a two handy diagrams showing all the muscles of the human body so you can take note of the names of muscles you didn't know before. Also important if you ever get a sports injury and want to tell the doc where you hurt yourself.

If you are ever in doubt ask your personal trainer to slow down and explain which muscles they mean exactly. It never hurts to ask.

If you live in Toronto (or any other major city) you can also find lots of bookstores that will have a variety of anatomy books which can explain what you are looking for. Try to find an anatomy book that is more attuned to exercising.

In the future I may even post reviews on books I think are particularly useful.

Injuries Vs Fitness: 7 Tips to getting Back on your Feet

Injury. It’s the one word that can strike fear into even the most dedicated of athletes. (Followed possibly by "drug test".)

An injury can completely derail even the most motivated of gym-goers. And unfortunately, it’s one of the most common mishaps of training.

Suffering from an injury is one of the biggest reasons that people stop working out altogether, but it doesn’t have to be! If you approach working out the right way even though you’re injured, and you maintain a positive mindset then you can preserve your physical fitness while still healing.

1. Go get a professional opinion

Before you do anything else, go see a doctor! Though most of us have an uncanny fear of going to see a doctor to get an injury checked out (how many of us have fallen victim to the “if I ignore it, it’s not real!” mindset?) it’s the very first thing you need to do. Getting a professional opinion will help you overcome injury faster and help you come back stronger and better than before. Many times they can point out things that are wrong that you didn’t even notice, thus saving you from repeating the same mistakes and re-injuring yourself over and over again.

2. Exercise around the injury

You don’t have to completely stop working out just because you have injured a body part. Instead focus on the workouts that you can do. If you can still do low-impact cardio try taking up swimming or biking. If you’re sidelined from doing upper- body weights find lower-impact lower body exercises or core work that you can do without affecting the injured area.

3. Don’t use injury as an excuse to completely stop

If you are able to still work out despite an injury than do so! It’s going to be that much harder to get back into working out if you stop completely. It’s easy to view an injury as an excuse to become lazy and stagnant,however continuing to maintain your physical fitness will make you stronger not just physically but mentally as well.

4. Focus on what you can do

Use this time to clean up your diet or try something new that you have been putting off. Injury is your body’s way of telling you that it needs a break from some activity or that you approached an activity with a little too much fervor.

You may have never realized how much you enjoy cooking until now, or that you actually really love yoga classes despite what you thought before. Use this time to make yourself a better-rounded fitness and nutrition enthusiast!

5. Stay positive

It’s so easy to fall into a downward spiral of negativity when you suffer an injury, sometimes even bordering on depression. When you’re sidelined from doing something you love it’s hard to find acceptance in that.

And it’s okay to acknowledge these feelings. But don’t let them consume you. Stay as positive as possible and focus on the good in your life – it will make everything else more bearable as you wait for your injury to heal.

6. Don't Overdo it on the Pain Killers

Yes, you are in pain. But just because you have access to powerful painkillers doesn't mean you should be gobbling them up like Smarties.

7. Give your body time to rest

I know, I just spent several paragraphs explaining how you should stay active. But you also need to allow your body adequate time to rest and heal. Just like you shouldn’t give up exercise completely, you shouldn’t approach it with an over-zealousness either.

Use this time to find a healthy balance between both rest and exercise.

As frustrating as injuries are, they don’t need to signify the end of your fitness career, only that you need to tweak it a bit. Get professional opinions from doctors and personal trainers so that you can approach your recovery in smart way and come back more fit and strong than before.

Don’t give up hope – you will be back on your feet in no time!

How Much Rest Do You Need?


"Hello! I am confused from various people who say I should exercise daily and other people saying I should rest every 2nd day. Who is right? What should I be doing with respect to resting?"

- Jessica Y.


They're actually both right, but I understand your confusion.

Not the answer you were expecting, is it?

Ideally what you want to be doing is alternating days where you do upper body exercises and lower body exercises, giving the upper or lower half a rest in between.

Daily exercise is your ultimate goal, but to do so without developing sports injuries you need to take a rest in-between each day so you don't over-exert yourself and injure yourself.

Doing Alternating Routines also increases your endurance over the long run, because you are getting adequate rest for your various body parts, but your heart and lungs are being exercised daily - which means your heart and lungs will get stronger and develop much more endurance.

So for example if you are doing lots of upper body weightlifting one day the next day you should be focusing on your legs and hips.

However if you are doing full body exercises that are pretty intense, such as marathon running, then you need to be taking a break for a day (or two) after running a marathon.

Also please note the differences between different types of resting:

Active Recovery - Do something less stressful to stay active and not sedentary.  Instead of running go for a walk or do yoga, lift lighter weights and increase reps or swim for fun to take a break from your competitive training schedule.
Absolute Rest - Do nothing at all!  Read a book, go to the museum or take a nice long bath.  No activity is a great reward for many consecutive days of hard training.  Your mind and body will thank you!

Alternating Routines - Give your upper or lower body the time it needs to recover by alternating routines on different days of the week.

If you hire a personal trainer (hint hint) they can help you to create alternating upper body and lower body routines, thus allowing you to maximize your exercise and rest periods.
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