As Doctors of Physical Therapy we are educating clients every day on what to do for rehabbing a certain muscle or muscle joint complex. And this is great, helping guide clients on how to protect tissue or begin to strengthen them to get better. Sometimes, though, you just want to get a good workout on and want to know how you can work out around an injury.
How can you do this? Is it safe? Yes, it is absolutely safe to work around an injury. If cardio is your thing, there are many ways you can get a sweat on around an injury. Sometimes this might mean changing which modality you use regularly to keep up your fitness.
Yes, it is absolutely safe to work around an injury.
Modes of different cardio can be:
Intensity can always be played with to introduce variation and to either maintain or enhance fitness levels. Ways to use intensity for variation or for improving fitness:
- Increase/decrease resistance
- Add incline/decline
- Change tempo
- Use intervals
- Increase/decrease duration
If pumping iron is your thing, there are also many ways to work around an injury. Here are suggestions for working around an injury:
- If one limb is injured, use the other three!
- Studies have shown that resistance training with the uninjured appendage will help keep the injured one from losing strength.
- Modify resistance
- This may mean going through a cycle where you use less resistance; but you may be able to do more repetitions.
- Modify range of motion
- You don’t always have to squat to the floor or pick up a deadlift from the ground. You can squat to a bench or deadlift from a couple of plates height.
- Modify the exercise
- Often we will have clients modify from a painful overhead press to a landmine press.
- Use a raised box to do push ups on.
- Use some assistance
- Why do it alone when you can use the TRX’s or rubber bands for a little help from your friend
If injury stopped us from going to the gym or working out there would be entire months or half years that we would let our fitness and health fall to the wayside. And from there it can be hard or feel near impossible to get started again. There are always ways to work around an injury and your health care provider can help you with suggestions on what will work for you, and if they can’t, get a new one who can.
There are always ways to work around an injury and your health care provider can help you with suggestions on what will work for you, and if they can’t, get a new one who can.
-Dr. Nick Schroeder, PT, DPT
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