Training while injured or with restrictions

The reason most of our clients train at Cróga CrossFit is because we help get them “Ready for Anything”.

To us, that means ready for anything they WANT to do, like play recreational sports they enjoyed as kids on adult times, go for hike or trail runs, participate in obstacle course races, chase their kids or grandkids around, and maybe even compete in local CrossFit events.

This also means that we get them ready for anything they HAVE to do, which also happens to include chasing after their kids or grandkids to make sure they don’t hurt themselves, move their own furniture, stand on their feet for long hours at work, and a bunch of other things that you don’t realize can be difficult when you’re out of shape, but are regular requirements of healthy & active lives.

Now, with that said, sometimes things happen when our clients are doing these things they want or have to do, but that doesn’t mean you should just sit at home, sulk and eat ice cream.

What you SHOULD be doing when you end up with aches, pains, a restriction of a limb or an injury is, assess the situation with your doctor and coach (if you’re a client at Cróga we are happy to help) and then determine what it is you’re still capable of and what you should not be doing.

From there, take the attitude that the injury is a blessing in disguise and get to the gym.

Let your coaches know what you can and can’t do and allow us to make the adjustments for you so you can still workout and improve, but we can continue to let your injury heal.

What’s one of the best ways to get your upper body stronger? Have a lower body injury that doesn’t allow you to use it, which in turn means you have more time to dedicate to upper body work.

Case in point: Coach Kelly’s ACL & meniscus tear, reconstructive surgery and rehab.

Many of you know that a few months ago Coach Kelly tore her ACL and meniscus in her right knee.

For about 2 months we hoped that the injury wasn’t actually as bad as it ended up being and she just kept a close eye on the joint while changing the movements in all our workouts to things she could do without really using the leg.

When the swelling wouldn’t subside and the joint didn’t appear to be improving we decided she needed an MRI and we found out that she was going to need a full ACL replacement and some work done on her meniscus.

Even with all this bad news, some serious pain in the joint, which she handled extremely well with little to no pain medication and ample opportunities to get down on herself and choose to just sit around and wait for surgery and then only do workouts with the Physical Therapist post surgery, she decided to not take this route.

Kelly decided that she was going to take the bull by the horns (insert White Goodman from Dodgeball joke here, haha) and work on her upper body fitness at any opportunity she got.

She downloaded a lower body injury training plan, which involved lots of pulling, pressing and core work while not requiring use of her leg and she performed it at Cróga religiously until she had surgery and got far enough along in Physical Therapy to get a green light from her surgeon to use her legs again.

Check out the video I took of her below, hobbling around only a couple days after surgery, but determined to continue to workout and get better.

So, what lessons are there to learn here?

  • Stay Positive!
  • Don’t let an injury keep you away from the gym
  • Know that there’s always something you can do to improve
  • Trust your coaches to help you modify workouts as needed
  • Continue to head to the gym for a good sweat and the support of a great group of friends.
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