Training through pain? Try these Tips...

July 14, 2020

At some point you will sustain an injury, not necessarily a serious injury but some type of annoyance that just won’t go away. Does that mean you should give up exercise? Of course not! Here are 3 tips on how to work around an injury.

  1. Decreased range motion: When a full range of motion causes pain, say in a squat, use half reps to your advantage. If the bottom of a squat causes hip pain, stop the motion just before the pain occurs. This allows you to still get some of the many benefits from performing a squat, without causing worsening pain.

Do you get low back pain during deadlifts? Raise the bar off the ground using a plate or pad to decreasethe range that you must reach for the bar.

Our goal is to always perform exercises in a controlled manner throughout full range of motion as our bodies are meant to. However, this is a great temporary solution to keep you moving and benefiting from these exercises without worsening your pain.

  1. Reduce volume, especially for overuse injuries: Any kind of inflammation or tendinitis is going to get worse if you continue to push through the pain. Reducing volume by decreasing reps and sets is a great way to stimulate a muscle without creating unnecessary inflammation. Spending a few weeks in this reduced volume period allows you to continue moving while simultaneously allowing your body to heal appropriately. Tendinitis can be persistent and unpredictable. Always spend a few minutes at the beginning of a workout gauging how your body feels today. This allows you to make the decision of whether today’s the day to push the weight or to back off a little and increase recovery time.
  2. Change the plane you are working on: Is horizontal pulling such as rows causing elbow pain? Before giving up working out your lats entirely, try changing the angle to a vertical pull such as an x-pull-down/pull-up. These small changes can allow you to still stimulate a muscle without forcing you to perform exercises that cause pain. One quick anecdote; since my shoulder labrum tear, most vertical pressing, such as strict press, push press, and push jerks, just don’t work for me. However, horizontal pressing, such as bench or landmine press generally feels great. This allows me to still perform a fundamental human moment, the press, pain-free. Just because one exercise causes pain does not mean that every similar exercise will too. There are lots of ways to stimulate a muscle without pain.

These tips are meant to keep you moving around pain. Of courses, if your doctor or physical therapists recommend you rest, THEN YOU REST! These tips are for the days and weeks when you wake up not feeling one hundred percent. These days, movement is just as important as any other day and these tips, when used appropriately, can be the key to keep you moving pain-free.



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