Let me start this off with a little disclaimer: I AM NOT A DOCTOR, NOR AM I AN OSTEOPATH OR PHYSIOTHERAPIST! I am simply someone who has suffered her fair share of injuries and wants to find a way to maintain training in a safe manner. These are just suggestions and may not work for you. I am also VERY OPEN to any ideas/recommendations so please share!
I have taken part in a number of sports over the past few years: wakeboarding, waterskiing, wake surfing, boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, CrossFit, functional training, Olympic Lifting, yoga, pilates…the list goes on! Unfortunately, there has been one common denominator – every 6-10 months I find myself with a little niggling injury. These range from slightly tight muscles, to trapped nerves, tendonitis, and so I regularly find myself trying to find smart ways to work through these.
Currently I am working through some kind of tendonitis in my hand which has prevented me from doing any upper body work. It can be a struggle to keep creative with lower body work outs so I just wanted to share a few ideas!
· Get CREATIVE! It can be challenging to have variety in your training programme when you have limitations. So, get out of the gym! Go for a hike (weather permitting) or maybe simply take a long walk around town. We get so busy that exploring our own areas sometimes slips our minds, you might be missing some real hidden gems!
· Find another challenge – I have always wanted to learn pistol squats, and when upper body exercises are off the list this is as good a time as any to get working on the pistol. Emilio has been helping me come up with numerous drills (see our recent Instagram post) and I’m taking little baby steps!
· Design a workout around your injuries. Now this is where you have to be careful but as long as you have clearance and don’t feel any pain doing the movements, you might still be able to train through an injury. Personally, I have to steer clear of any upper body movements and cannot put any weight on my wrists, which does still allow for a number of movements. Here are a couple of workouts I did:
50 – 40 – 30 – 20 – 10 reps of:
Heels to Butt
50 Squats, 40 Squats with Front Kick, 30 Squats with Side Kick, 20 Squat Jumps, 10 Single Leg Squats
50 Reverse Lunges, 40 Front Lunges, 30 Cossack Squats, 20 Split Squats, 10 Jumping Split Squats
This is a series that can be altered in many ways, above are two variations. I also add abs every round this can also be varied:
- 50 Sit Ups, 40 Bicycle Crunches, 30 Dead Bugs, 20 Reverse Crunches, 10 V Ups
- 10 V Ups every round
- 30 Second Plank every round
- You can also add in Back Extensions
So just to clarify – the workout is performed by completing 50 reps of:
Heels to Butt
Squats or Reverse Lunges (or if you want to make it really intense do both!)
Ab Exercise of your choice
Then you move on to 40 reps and so on.
· Don’t Give Up! I was really worried that I would have to completely step back from doing any yoga and lose a lot of what I have been working on. While I can’t do any handstand work, I did manage to find a few Yoga classes that were designed to not use your hands at all!
Training is great but…
When we have an injury, it is easy to panic about what we cannot do, instead of taking a step back and thinking about what we can do. However, our focus should really remain on RECOVERY.
Recovery doesn’t mean sitting still! This can mean many things, it could be as simple as doing some foam rolling or some stretching, you might need to ice, or use heat. It could mean visiting your physiotherapist, osteopath or massage therapist.
It does mean, without question, listening to your body and being careful with it.
If you choose to continue training at the gym and work around injuries, then make sure you stick to that. It is also extremely important to let your coach know about your injury. If something hurts, just STOP. The combination of endorphins and adrenalin can be powerful, powerful enough to let us push through pain. Be particularly careful and don’t push your limits.
Don’t Create Other Injuries
Injuries that require a long healing period are particularly frustrating. Be cautious not to cause other injuries or imbalances through your training. If your left wrist is injured and you spend months working on your right arm you are setting yourself up for future problems. Your whole body will suffer if you are constantly working on unbalanced movement patterns. When in doubt ask your coach to help you design a programme.
There Is No Quick Fix
I know that is the most boring thing that I could say, but it really is the truth. Unfortunately, most of the time there is no quick fix. Don’t let it get you down (this can easily happen) instead enjoy new challenges. Nutrition can also play a role in facilitating recovery, avoiding foods that provoke inflammation and upping any anti-inflammatory foods in your diet is usually a good place to start.
Please share any of your experiences with us here, and send over any ‘hands free’ workout ideas! 😊