How To Return To Training After An Injury

Perhaps you have suffered a serious injury that put you out of commission for a few months, or a sprain of some kind, or maybe it’s just been a while since you really trained and you are itching to put on your workout clothes and show yourself that this time off hasn’t knocked you back a few steps.

Well, guess what? You are already making a mistake by negating the effects of your injury. Before you can get back to working out the way you used to, you need to acknowledge the reasons for taking time off. This is especially true in the case you had to stop training because of a particularly severe injury.

Before everything else, it is important that you learn everything you can about your injury and how it has affected your body. The good news is that there are innumerable sources where you can learn about the different sporting injuries, see 3D models and even video simulations of what injuries can do.

Of course, another source of information will be your doctor who will answer any questions that you might have, as well as share their advice on how you should go about working out once again. You should heed their advice above anyone else’s.

For example, if someone on an online thread tells you one thing and your doctor tells you another – go with what the doctor said. Not all lower back injuries are the same. Not all ACL injuries are the same. Because of this, it is a bad idea to listen to anyone over your doctor who has all the facts concerning your particular case.

Once you have been cleared for training, it is time to start easing into it. Most experts agree that this transitional period should last at least as long as the time you lost due to injury. In other words, if you hadn’t exercised for three months, you shouldn’t be going back to your pre-injury regimen for three months.


The biggest problem people have when returning to training following an injury is the dissonance between what their mind is telling them and what their body can accomplish. Namely, following a workout drought, people want to burst out of the gate with guns blazing. It is even worse that your body is actually cooperating. It has had its rest and it is super happy to go along with this bad idea.

The reality, however, is such that your injury still happened no matter how good you feel returning to training. If you start off at full speed, chances are that your recovery process will be set back for weeks or even months.

You need to be patient and think of the big picture.

One easy rule to live by is to increase your exercise in 10 percent increments. For example, if you do 10 repetitions of an exercise one day, you should not do more than 11 the next. If you were to double the intensity, for example, you would be once again putting too much strain on your recovering body.

Once again, your mind and perhaps even your body might want you to get more intense quicker, but you need to curb these “cravings”.

Another very important thing to remember is that you should never, ever ignore pain if you are coming back from an injury. Most experts will agree you shouldn’t ignore pain even if you are 100 percent healthy, but this is particularly true when returning from an injury. Pain is your body telling you that it is time to give it a rest and if you fail to do so after an injury, a new problem is all but guaranteed.

Finally, it might also be a good idea to seek help from a professional, such as a kinesiologist or a physical therapist who will provide you with all the advice and help you need to really get back to being your old self.

In short, take things slow, pay attention to any warning signs and do not be afraid to reach out for help. Before you know it, you will be back to your old self!

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