Injury Proof

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By Christine King

If you were inspired by last month’s column you’re well on the way to a healthy January! (Please refer to, December issue.) Safely maintaining your progress in the New Year is essential!

At any age, the risk of injury in beginning a fitness regimen is a reality. When designing clients programs we take every precaution to avoid this occurrence. However, it’s very natural to feel an elevated sense of strength as your fitness level improves. This boost in confidence can also lead to “overdoing.” Your body may not feel anything in the moment, however getting out of bed the following morning is no picnic!

A deterrent to overdoing is the agony of a four to six-week hiatus to recover from the injury. After clothes feeling looser and a heightened pep in your step; the need to take a step back significantly affects your motivation. The good news is there are simple, implementable safety measures to avoid any risk of injury! Many sound like common sense, however, once your endorphins begin pumping a periodic reality check is always a great idea!

To begin, only use a weight you can lift a minimum of 10 repetitions. Gradually increase by a couple of reps weekly until you reach 20 reps. When this becomes easy it’s time to bump up the weight. Repeat the process again and build to 20 reps. Next, never compromise form for increased resistance. Maintaining proper form prevents injury. Lifting a weight that’s too heavy recruits muscles that have no business being involved in the exercise. This typically causes an injury.

While returning to the “gym groove” most people aim to maximize their workout time efficiently. Translation…Get in and out fast! Don’t waste time sitting in a weight machine when you could be coasting from one movement to the next using tubes, medicine balls, hand weights and other fun, functional tools. You’ll burn more calories, create more lean muscle and cut your workout time in half! Plus, you’ll be stronger as a result of using your entire body rather than isolating one muscle at a time.

To remain injury free and experience safe, quick results simply follow these guidelines:
1. If the weight is too heavy, don’t lift it
2. If the movement hurts, don’t do it
3. Increase the weight only after 20 reps is a breeze. With the added weight drop back to 10 reps and repeat the process.
4. In the event of an injury seek professional guidance and follow it! Most injuries require resting that muscle a minimum of four to six weeks before resuming activity.
5. Once healed follow the above protocol and carefully work the involved muscle so as to not re-injure.