Top 5 Tips To Prevent Gym Injuries
It’s easy to stop going to the gym, especially during a pandemic, and so much harder to get back into it if after a long break. Maybe you’re on your way to recovering from an injury, or maybe you lost your way for some time. Whatever it is, here are some pointers on how to get back to the gym after taking a long break and what to expect.
Get Back to the Gym After Taking a Long Break with These Tips
Don’t expect to be at the same level you were before
Unfortunately, regardless of whether you are a runner, weightlifter, or Crossfit enthusiast, taking time off from exercise means that you will lose some of your conditioning. It doesn’t mean that you’ll never get back to the same level or surpass it. It just means that you may start at a lower weight or shorter running time than before your break. This is completely normal.
Let’s take someone who lifts weights as an example. After 1-2 weeks, you may not really see or feel much of a difference. But 3-4 weeks without going to the gym may result in some lean muscle mass loss (depending on what your diet is like too). You might start losing actual muscle around the 4-week mark without training and adhering to your protein intake.
The good news is that you’ll also regain your strength quicker than it took for you to reach that level in the first place thanks to a little something called muscle memory. Which leads us to our next point.
We understand that it can be difficult knowing that you’re not lifting as heavy, or running as fast or long as you could but you need to be patient. Work with the strength or energy you have now, and trust that as long as you are consistent and continue to workout, you will return to normal within a few weeks.
Don’t try to push yourself from the get-go as this will only increase your risk of injury. And if you get injured, then you’ll find yourself spending more time out of the gym.
What you can do during the first few weeks back in the gym is to focus on your form. Technique takes a while to develop as it is a skill. Every skill requires practice, and you will need a lot of that to get it right in your first few sessions back.
Don’t do too much
Don’t try to do all the exercises at once. Stick to a few to ease yourself back into it and give your body time to adjust to the change. We want to do just enough to challenge our body and give it a chance to recover. If we do too much in one go we may actually cause too much stress in our body which may lead to a decrease in performance.
When you feel that your body has adapted to those workouts, you can gradually go back to your normal routine over time.
Remember you’ll probably be sore
Contrary to popular belief, feeling sore isn’t a good indicator of whether you’ve had a good workout or not. If you’re feeling sore, it’s probably because you’re doing a new exercise or you haven’t trained in a while as it’s a new stimulus for your body. So if you’re getting back to the gym after a long break, you’ll most likely feel it the next day.
The good news? The soreness won’t last forever. Once you get back into a routine, you will find yourself being able to workout without feeling the soreness afterwards, that’s the beauty of our body being so adaptable!
To help recover faster, make sure that you properly warm-up before exercising and cool-down afterwards. Do some activation drills before your sessions and make sure you’re staying hydrated (2-3 litres/day), sleeping well (7-9 hours/night), and eating well.
Get a trainer/coach
If you want the extra help, then enlisting in a workout app or personal trainer can really do the trick. If you just need a little push to get back into training, then a workout app like Jefit is a cost-effective method. You can choose the body parts you want to train, as well as some great exercises to do so. You can even connect with other Jefit members so you can share tips on how to get back to the gym.
A personal trainer at your local gym is also really helpful. He or she can create a workout plan for you based on your goals, and show you how the machines work around the facility. Unfortunately, personal training can be on the pricey side at times, but sometimes there may be great offers like group fitness training. This is where you can share the cost and session with a couple of friends! We are partnered with Melbourne Strength & Conditioning, so please feel free to check out their page to find out more about group training! https://melbournestrengthconditioning.com.au/
If you are recovering from an injury though, we recommend that you do enlist the help of an allied health professional so that modifications can be made for your rehab process. This is vital so that you don’t undo all the progress you’ve made in recovery and make it worse.
Feel free to checkout our blogs on some advices to stay on top of your injuries! https://equilibriumsas.com.au/blog/