How to Workout With an Injury

There’s no doubt about it – injuries can be frustrating, especially for those who exercise frequently. But you don’t have to stop working out – in fact, staying mobile is one of the best things you can do for yourself while nursing an injury. Below is our advice for coping with, diagnosing and healing your injury – without taking a break from exercise.  Read on to learn how to safely workout with an injury.

How to safely workout with an injury

Step 1: R.I.C.E.

R.I.C.E. stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation – and should be followed for most types of injuries. As soon as an injury has occurred, it’s important to rest the injured area, ice as needed, and potentially compress or elevate the area if possible.

In some circumstances, heat might be more suitable than ice but, as a general rule of thumb, ice should be applied immediately after an injury. For both heat and ice, apply it for 15-20 minutes at a time, with at least 45 minutes in between applications. Ensure you place a cloth in between your skin and the ice or heat pack to prevent skin damage.

Step 2: Get ASSESSED by a Physiotherapist or Athletic Therapist

A physiotherapist or athletic therapist can help diagnose your condition and develop an appropriate treatment plan. They may also prescribe certain exercises to encourage your recovery.

Step 3: Choose the Right Trainer

Once you’ve got your diagnosis and a plan from a physiotherapist or athletic trainer, it’s a great idea to find a personal trainer who can support the work you’re doing with them – which is where we come in. Nielsen Fitness trainers all know how to workout with an injury, and they are ready to help you do so safely. We regularly collaborate with physios and exercise therapists for our in-home training and virtual training clients, to ensure our programs are supporting their treatment plans. 

We are experts when it comes to creating custom exercise programs that keep you moving and keep you on track toward making a full recovery, including providing preventative exercises to reduce your future risk of injury.

Step 4: Take Preventative Action

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say. Once you understand the root cause of your injury, it’s wise to take action to ensure it doesn’t happen again – whether that means warming up more thoroughly, changing the way you move/exercise or strengthening a particular area. 

So much of what we do – with all our clients, including post-injury – is focused on prevention, or what we call ‘prehab’. For example, we will have you perform a thorough shoulder warm up, along with rotator cuff exercises, so that when you do any push ups or pulls, you’re setting yourself up for success. For squats, we focus on the intrinsic muscles of the knee, ensuring they are balanced so that the patella tracks smoothly and correctly. These types of preventative exercises keep you on track and prevent wear and tear that can cause pain.

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Updated on October 27, 2022.