Strategies for Preserving Strength During Injury Rehabilitation

Posted on May 5, 2024 at 12:02 AM

Experiencing an injury can be a frustrating setback, especially for athletes who are accustomed to pushing their limits. However, it's crucial to navigate through recovery with a focus on maintaining overall health and fitness. Here are some insights from TEAM PEAK athlete Eric Todd on how to continue training while recuperating from an injury.


1. Stay Active

Regardless of the type of injury, staying active is paramount. During my experience of coping with a significant back injury I prioritized movement over heavy lifting. Instead of pushing weights, I engaged in brisk walks to promote circulation and aid in the healing process. Even when restricted, I would incorporate light, high-repetition movements with a 5 lb. dumbbell to sustain blood flow. This commitment to activity not only facilitated a smoother recovery but also ensured a quicker return to regular training once cleared by medical professionals.

2. Embrace Creativity

Each injury presents unique challenges, but there's often room for creative adaptation. Once I  had a badly sprained ankle, which limited my ability to perform traditional lower body exercises like squats and deadlifts. However, I  found alternative solutions such as seated exercises and bench presses with elevated feet. Additionally, there are many ways to get creative with your lifts.  I’ve used a tow strap for deadlifts after a bicep reattachment surgery. These examples underscore the importance of exploring unconventional approaches to maintain strength and functionality during rehabilitation.

3. Exercise Caution

While creativity is encouraged, it's crucial to exercise caution and mindfulness. Be sure to understand one's limitations and potential risks associated with improvised exercises. There’s been times I’ve contemplated attempting front squats with a compromised arm post-elbow surgery but wisely refrained due to the inherent danger of exacerbating the injury. This vigilance prevents setbacks and ensures that rehabilitation progresses smoothly without compromising long-term recovery goals.

Be Mindful

In summary, navigating through injury rehabilitation requires a combination of resilience, innovation, and caution. While there are numerous strategies to preserve strength during recovery, the primary focus should always be on facilitating optimal healing. By striking a balance between activity, creativity, and mindfulness, athletes can expedite their return to peak performance while minimizing the risk of reinjury.

TEAM PEAK Athlete Eric Todd



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