How to Train When You’re Injury Prone

Don't let repetitive injuries keep you on the couch!

Injury can be one of the biggest obstacles in someone’s journey to become fit and healthy. The most common injuries experienced from exercising (not sports) are muscles strains, sprained ankles, shin splints, tendinopathy, knee injuries, and wrist sprains, according to WebMD. However, if you’re injury prone and you know it, then you are one step ahead of the game! Don’t let the fear of getting hurt keep you from achieving your goals and getting into the best shape of your life!

Dealing with an injury puts a damper on every aspect of your life. You’re in pain, aching all day, and daily activities are more difficult than they should be! Just because you are injury prone doesn’t mean the you can’t do those intense workout classes at your gym, or play in recreational sports. It simply means you need to take more precautions than the average joe. We’ve put together some tips on How to Train When You’re Injury Prone, so write these down or print them off and apply them to your fitness routine!

1. Know your weak spots.
If you know your weaknesses, then you know what you need to strengthen. Maybe you’re known for constantly pulling your hamstrings, or rolling your ankles. Then take initiative to strengthen your ankles, or properly warm up your hamstrings. If you have weak knees, then focus on taking precautions to build strength around them. It’s also a good idea to know which activities often cause the injury and to avoid them. Maybe your favorite sport is soccer, but you’re prone to rolling your ankles (very common in outside sports) and you won’t give up playing for fun. Take precautions such as ankle strengthening, or wearing cleats or an ankle brace.

2. Let Yourself Fully Heal.
OK, so you got injured, again. This time, you’re going to break the cycle of constantly getting hurt. This time, see a doctor or a physical therapist about your repetitive injuries. They can give you good instructions on the healing process, how to take care of your wounds, and a timeline on when you can return to activities.

3. Start small.
When coming back from an injury (which you’ve probably done many times) it’s important to remember to not rush back into your previous workouts. It’s just going to make you more susceptible to re-injure  yourself. Start small with low weights, less repetitions, and easier exercises. Gradually reintroduce yourself to higher weights and intensities. This will help reduce your risk of injury in the near future!

4. A Warm-Up & Cool Down is a Must!
Properly warming up your muscles helps prevent muscle strain and it’s a good way to get good blood flow to your muscles for the exercise routine you are about to do. A cool down is the same concept in reverse and it also helps prevent dizziness.

5. Choose the right form of cardio.
Cardio is the easiest way to burn fat, so it’s many peoples’ go-to workout. There are ways to do cardio and get a good sweat on without putting too much stress on your joints! If you know you have bad knees, a bad hip, or weak ankles then you should choose a form of cardio that will put the least amount of stress through those joints. Running and plyometric exercises put maximal stress on your body, but you can get the same cardiovascular and calorie-burning experience from cycling or the elliptical machine.

6. Be educated!
You need to know proper form for every exercise in order to avoid injury. There are so many resources out there to learn safe ways to exercise to minimize injuring yourself. All of our workouts come with explanations of how to do each exercise for this very reason! Also, again to repeat, know what exercises irritate your injury prone tendencies. It’s also good to know what exercises can help make you overall stronger and less prone to injury.

7. Necessary Precautions!
There are certain measures that can be taken to help keep you safe. One good tip is to wear a brace. They make braces for ankles, knees, wrists, or even elbows. They can promote stability, a safer movement, and prevent injury. Don’t forget to ice sore muscles and joints after an intense workout to help the healing process. Another small precaution that often gets overlooked is wearing proper shoes! You’d be surprised at how wearing proper shoes for your arch and the type of activity you will be doing.

Here are some more great tips!
Tips for Relieving Sore Muscles After a Tough Workout
3 Tips for Choosing the Right Workout Gear
Tips for Starting a Fitness Routine
10 Clean Eating Tips- Do’s and Don’ts

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Allison Gentry

Allison attended East Tennessee State University where she graduated with a Bachelors in Exercise Science. She earned her certification as a personal trainer through Aerobics & Fitness Association of America. Allison is currently in her final year of study in the pursuit of a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. In her free time she participates in extreme obstacle course racing, having completed one Tough Mudder and a Trifecta of Spartan Races.

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