With an active lifestyle, injuries may happen. Whether it’s a sprained wrist or a tweaked knee, we’ve all been there.
So, how do you safely return to training after an injury? Here are our tips.
Get your doctor’s permission.
First things first, you need to get the OK from your doctor to return to your training regimen. Your doctor will have a more objective perspective to help make sure you’re really ready to get back into the gym.
Usually, you’ll get the all-clear if you no longer have stiffness, swelling, or pain in the injured area. If you can, work with a physiotherapist to ensure you’re healing properly. They can also give you strengthening and lengthening exercises to help slowly rehabilitate the injury.
Mental preparation is key.
As an avid kickboxer, you’ll know that training is just as much of a mental game as it is a physical one. The same remains true when returning to your sessions after an injury.
Spend some time preparing yourself mentally by reflecting on the injury and how it occurred in the first place. What might you do differently next time? Maybe you won’t skip rest day or you’ll focus on stretching after every session. What needs to improve in order to prevent future injuries?
Additionally, it’s a good idea to have low expectations when getting back into the swing of things. Remind yourself that you will be able to get back to your pre-injury fitness and performance level, but that journey will likely be non-linear.
Stay positive but be gentle with your mind when things don’t happen as smoothly as you might have hoped.
Take it slower than you think.
It’s so easy for our egos to take over, especially if we take pride in our fitness level and kickboxing skills. When your injury starts to feel better, do your best not to fall into the trap of biting off more than you can chew.
If you think you can start off at 50% capacity, take that down to 30%. If you feel like you’re ready for a full session, err on the side of safety and only push to 75%. By taking things slower than you think you’re ready for, this helps calm your ego and prevents further injury which can set you back even further.
Slow and steady wins the race when returning to training from an injury.
If you injured a specific part of the body, it’ll be important during the recovery process to continue to stay fit in other areas. That means cross-training.
For example, if you hurt your ankle, you might take up a low-impact activity like swimming to keep up with your cardio stamina. Or if you injured your elbow, you can still do exercises like squats and lunges for your lower body while your arm heals.
Listen to your body.
Throughout the entire process, it’s imperative you listen to your body. It’s definitely easier said than done, but getting in tune with your body and being honest about when it’s time to back off is key to proper recovery.
Pushing through slight pain will be part of your healing (and your physio can help a lot with that) but it’s not OK to push through agony.
Again, recovery is non-linear and even if you felt great yesterday, you might need to do less today. It doesn’t mean you’re going backward or that you’ll never get better. It’s just how it goes, so trust the process!
Take your kickboxing sessions at your own pace, especially when recovering from an injury. We let you train according to your needs - anytime, anywhere. Start your free trial today!