How To Work Around An Injury

Woman stretching

We workout hard and we like to challenge ourselves in the gym, but when those nagging aches and pains flare up they can inhibit our progress.  It’s frustrating and chances are pretty good that if you workout, you will get some type of injury.  Don’t let that be an excuse to get out of exercising because the consequences of inactivity are more severe.

If you are like me, you don’t want to miss a workout so here are some tips to help you train safely and effectively.

  1. Tighten up your form.  I get asked often for my advice on how to eliminate a pain that comes from an exercise.  Usually when I watch the person perform the exercise his form is off or he is performing the exercise too fast.

Rule of thumb:

  • Slow down your reps.
  • Concentrate on what you are doing.

        2.  Use lighter weights and do more reps.  I see people doing squats and bench press and only taking the weight down halfway because it’s too heavy.  You might as well call those reps “pulses” or partial reps.

I sometimes have to reel myself in when I want to go heavy but at the cost of good technique. Recently I’ve had to back off from going heavy on barbell squats and instead I have been doing light weight front squats.  The front squat forces me to keep my chest up and I get in good deep squats with the lighter weight.

We like to feel like King Kong, but sometimes we have to suppress the ego and go for a lighter weight.  This allows you to really attack the muscle by getting full range of motion and nailing the form.

        3.  Warm up and cool down with stretching.  Get on the bike, treadmill or, if you are anti-cardio, then perform warm up sets with light weights.

i.e. If it’s your day to work shoulders grab a light set of dumbbells and perform 10 lateral raises, 10 front raises, 10 overhead presses, and 10 rear flyes to warm up.

I know that stretching may not be at the top of your list, but take time to include it at the end of your workout.

  • The more limber you are the more you decrease your risk of tendon overload and injury.

     4. Get creative.  One of my clients got is hand smashed and is unable to grip. We worked together on creative solutions so that he wouldn’t have to miss his gym time. Using bands, weight plates and manipulating hand positions, we were able to come up with some good stuff he could do for his upper body while he recovers.

     5.  Pay attention to the pain. Taking a couple of days off can save you from having to take months off down the road.

6.  Nourish your body with good nutrition.  Check out this blog post for supplements that can aide in muscle recovering and reduce inflammation,

Hope this helps!  Let me know if you have any questions.  You can follow me on facebook and instagram by visiting my website @


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