How to Return to Sport After Injury, Part 2

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

Finding that your return to sport or normal fitness activity after injury is erratic or delayed?  You are not alone.  A lot of people can’t shake the “nagging injury” or get past the feeling of being fragile.  In Part 1 on this topic, I gave you 3 tips that can help you to avoid these pitfalls.  Here I would like to go even further to help you get back to being your best.

Tip #4: Don’t train “around” the injury

If you find exercises tedious and boring, recognize that you are no different than anyone else.  This is especially true if you are following an exercise program that hasn’t changed in months.  Most people have a tendency to start to do only the exercises that they like and leave others alone.  However, this bad habit can create large gaps in your program which may lead to an increased risk that your pain will come back.

Fear of pain can also make you avoid strengthening exercises for a previously-injured area.  Worry that you will get hurt again holds many people back from performing perfectly safe exercises however this avoidance strategy can limit a full recovery and make you more vulnerable on the playing field.  Remember it is safer to do your exercises than returning to play your sport as most resistance exercises stress the body less than the sport itself!  Even jogging can create forces in your legs that are close to twice your body weight.  Lower body strengthening exercises help to protect the joints against the impact forces created by running, which is why runners are always encouraged to incorporate resistance training into their programs.

When returning to resistance training a good rule to help limit re-injury is to keep increases in workload to 10 percent per week.  That means if one week you do 10 push-ups, the next you should try for 11.  It may not seem like a lot but once you have several exercises in your workout, it can become a very ambitious goal.

Use the 10% rule to strengthen without injuring