Returning To Gym Post Injury : What You Need To Know

You’ve come to see your physio with an injury, they have rehabbed you appropriately and its finally time to get back into training at the gym, yippee!

In this post we’ll talk about what you need to know when returning to gym after an injury.

Work With Your Physio Toward The Same Goal

Firstly, make sure your physio is aware that returning to the gym is one of your goals.

We will always work with you to achieve your goals and it will tailor your rehabilitation if we know specifically what you are wanting to return back to.

We will need to know a few things like

  • the type of gym (weight lifting or CrossFit)
  • the frequency (how many training sessions per week)
  • the duration of your sessions and
  • how hard you push yourself.

You should also talk about the weight range you normally lift (good time to brag!) so that we can build you back to this (and then some… if you follow your rehab plan given by your Physio!).

The next big thing to remember is, depending on your injury or reason for seeing a physio, you will likely not be able to jump back to your full 100% training load like you were doing before you were injured!

Research has shown that you can lose your strength conditioning as quickly as 2-3 weeks, remember that next time you try to move the same weight in the gym after taking an extended break.

This is a big one to remember and ensure you don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s crucial you ease back into your normal capacity as this gives your muscles, ligaments and joints time to warm back up, stretch and avoid further injury or re-injuring yourself.

You would hate to work closely with your physio to get back to no pain and full movement, just to undo all of your hard work the first session back in the gym!

10 Tips To Safely Return To Gym

Here are our top 10 tips to safely return to gym –

1. Check your form, slow down the exercise and make sure all movements are pain free!

2. You could take a video of yourself performing the exercise to review yourself or show your physio at the next appointment

3. If you feel any pain during an exercise, you need to stop. This is your body flashing its warning engine sign and telling you its not happy to continue. You should listen to this warning. Take note of the exercise and let your physio know at your next appointment.

4. Start with lighter weights. Begin with lifting only 50% of your usual weight range.

5. To make exercises harder without increasing your weight, try increasing your repetitions instead.

6. Train at 50% of your normal frequency to begin with. If you normally train 5 days a week, start with 2-3 sessions. If you normally train 3 sessions, try only training 1-2.

7. Give yourself an extra rest day between sessions to make sure you recover okay.

8. Resist your temptation to push yourself straight back to 100%, even if you feel good! Your body may still need more time. Leave your gym ego at the door.

9. If you have no pain at all after following the above, slowly add in an extra session every 2nd week.

10. After you have returned to a full training week, slowly build your weights up over the next 2-3 weeks. Remember to listen to your body!

Finally, enjoy the new process and if you have any pain, concerns or questions along the way, book in an appointment to see your physio!

Please note that this is just a guide and rehabilitation should be tailored to the individual with the help from your physiotherapist.

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