Whether you’re discovering exercise for the first time, a long-time weekend warrior, or a professional athlete, injuries are a pain, in more ways than one. A sure-fire way to derail your training plans, they often end up putting you out of the game for weeks or even months.
While it’s tempting to rush your recovery, going too hard too soon can turn a minor injury into something more serious. To get you back on your feet the right way, we chatted with Ben Bese, Personal Trainer at City Club, to get his top tips on returning to training after an injury.
Seek advice from allied health professionals
“During my time as a personal trainer working alongside physiotherapists as well as my time playing VFL football, I have not only helped rehabilitate clients but also rehabilitated myself through some crazy injuries.”
According to Ben, an allied health professional, typically a physiotherapist, should always be your first port of call. While he says an individual’s rehab approach may depend on the severity of the injury, he recommends sticking with the following protocols:
– Seek treatment from an allied health professional
– Construct the best treatment plan with your allied health professional
– Perform all exercises prescribed within your treatment plan
– Continually seek treatment until your allied health professional advises you not to
Treat, mobilise and strengthen
No matter the injury, the three guidelines Ben follows with his rehab plans are
“From my experience and after many, many rehabilitation programs, receiving treatment from an allied health professional is always undoubtedly the first initial step you take. Then gaining an understanding of how to re-strengthen and mobilise to ensure you return to a normal joint range of motion is equally as important. Without mobilising and strengthening you will never return to how you were before the injury. This is critical and where personal trainers can help,” says Ben.
“From my experience, how quickly and effectively you return to normal bodily function after an injury depends on the work you put in. Being strict and dedicated to your prescribed rehab program is imperative. If your physio doesn’t prescribe you exercises that will not only successfully rehabilitate your injury but strengthen the surrounding musculature that has been affected and weakened due to the injury, then you need to find another physio.
“Injuries can cause compensation patterns. This is the body’s neuromuscular strategy where your body attempts to make up for the lack of movement in one area by adding a new movement pattern to another non-affected area within the body. This can result in negative implications to the body’s biomechanical integrity and movement quality.”
“It’s always best to keep moving,” says Ben. “No matter what the injury, you can always work around your injury in the gym. Having a personal trainer who has experience in rehabilitation but is also creative in how they train is great, whilst always ensuring your training remains fun and most of all constantly motivating you to keep pursuing your fitness goals.”
If you are looking at getting back into the gym after an injury, you can contact Ben on 0400 588 448 or at email@example.com
Pete Hunt is a highly skilled physiotherapist with nearly three decades of experience working in sports physiotherapy and private practice. The Director of The Alignment Studio, he has a special interest in musculoskeletal and sports injuries, orthopaedic rehabilitation and postural syndrome. With a caring, communicative approach, Pete uses a combination of joint and soft tissue mobilisation and exercise prescription to treat his clients. He’s also passionate about education for injury prevention and lasting results.