No one enjoys being interrupted by an injury. However, it’s important to take the time you need to recover and heal properly. For some of you, injuries can be a complete motivation killer. This can have a knock-on effect, especially if your physical fitness is a big factor in your mental health. On the flip side, you could see it as an opportunity to learn more about your body and come back stronger than ever. Where do you sit on this? Mindset and attitude are going to be indicators of how you mitigate and manage injuries. Our personal trainers at Limitless Gym Hong Kong are not even going to promote “preventing” injuries! Let’s be frank, it is unlikely you will survive your entire life without one, regardless of whether you actually work out or not. A smarter approach would be to highlight some reasons for your gym injuries that you may not have considered.
TL;DR: Mitigate the grade of injuries and optimize your body’s ability to recover and heal.
Not knowing when to push through the pain and when to address possible injuries
It’s common to assume an injury stems from a specific “evil” exercise. Acute injuries would be closer to that assumption, but many of us forget how we’re unintentionally setting ourselves up for them. It’s common to forget other considerations that lead to chronic injuries, such as poor posture management. One of the most difficult things about working out is knowing when to push through the pain and when to take a break. Taking a “no pain no gain” approach to physical fitness literally does you more harm than good. Feeling muscle pain from exertion is different than feeling pain from an injury, so it’s important to be able to distinguish between the two.
Quick tip: During your warm-up, take a moment to do a body scan. This will help you identify areas that need more movement prep for the day or areas that still need recovery work.
Not getting quality recovery
Like getting enough sleep can be detrimental to your body’s recoverability, which is its ability to respond well to stressors. This includes factors such as sleep quality and fatigue, general achy-ness and soreness from working out. Other common factors also include motivation levels, susceptibility to sickness, dietary habits, and hydration levels. Recovery methods are designed to help the body heal more quickly. When you’re feeling exhausted from training (and life), increasing your recovery can help get you back on track and stay on top of your physical fitness.
Quick tip: Find ways to improve your sleep hygiene. Take note of your sleep schedule. Do this by keeping a log that you review every week and make small changes incrementally for better results. We’re also pretty sure there are more than a handful of apps out there that are designed for this purpose.
Overdoing exercises and movement patterns that could cause injuries
Yes, it is possible and you CAN overdo an exercise to the point of injury if you’re not careful. This happens when you don’t give your body enough time to recover between sessions. Or, when you focus too much on one particular move or muscle group. Constantly loading the same movement patterns can cause excessive wear and tear on those muscles, joints & ligaments. Injuries like this are unfortunately common among people who tend to do the same few popular exercises over and over again. Exercises such as the bench press, squat, deadlift, military press, and upright row.
Quick tip: To avoid this, make sure to take breaks between sets. Learn to vary your movements so that you’re working different muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments each time.
Ignoring emotional stressors
Admit it, this is something we’ve all done at one point or another. Whether it’s a fight with your partner, problem-solving for your kid, or conflict at work; these can shift the current state of our minds and bodies. These stressors could overload our nervous system and lead to under-recovery if we’re not aware. Applying emotional intelligence skills across the board, matters. Start with in-depth awareness, and expand from there.
A quick tip: explore different stress management tools to find what works for you. Once you have clarity over what they are, you’ll be able to use the right tools more effectively.
Inflexible mindset when it comes to physical fitness
Your lack of flexibility when it comes to physical fitness might be stemming from your self-identity. For instance, do you see yourself as “too tough” to rehab an injury? Do you think you’re “too disciplined” to change your workout routine?
Reminder: “be stubborn with your goals but flexible in your methods” – William A. Donohue
Learn physical fitness and movement medicine from one of the best gyms and nutrition coaches in Hong Kong
At Limitless, we often receive clients who have been demotivated from injuries. We start with our assessments and collaborate with their physiotherapists to address priorities. Been on the struggle bus for too long? We hear you. Book for a free trial, let’s talk. Our personal trainers are ready when you are.
*** The following content is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you have suffered an injury, it is always best to consult with a qualified physician or healthcare provider. Many athletes try to recover from injuries on their own, but this information is meant to help them make better choices about their role in the recovery process.