Ask An Expert: Tommy, How Can I Get Back On Track After An Injury?
Q: I’m just getting over a knee injury and feel that I can start working out again. What should I work on so that I’m not overdoing it, but getting a good workout?
A: Thank you for your question about coming back from a knee injury, I’m sure it has been on the minds of many people. Depending on the severity of your knee injury, there are a few options to think about when attempting your comeback trail.
If your knee required surgery, then I would hope that you have done some kind of rehabilitation with an exercise physiologist, fitness coach or physiotherapist. Rehab is important because it will start you off from the “grass roots” and it should include basic strengthening and balance movements.
It is only when you get the “green light” from your provider, should you deem yourself ready for your return to former greatness. To ensure you get a great workout, while at the same time recovering from your injury you should incorporate cardio activities such as swimming, running in the water, or the rowing machine.
As far as resistance exercises, I would begin using your body weight for squats and lunges of various forms. Loading your legs in an isometric fashion (1 leg at a time) will also be beneficial to your routine, because one leg will initially be stronger than the other one. Using core / stability exercises like Bosu or Balance board Squats, or lunges can also challenge your body in positive ways because it forces your stabilizing muscles to “kick in”. You will know when you are overdoing it because your body will tell you when it’s time to shut it down, so please listen to it.
I would also suggest full body circuit style workouts; this will give your body a wide variety of movements that will be challenging to perform. For most people it would be wise to minimize or eliminate high impact exercises until you are virtually pain free. Athletes know that they are the exception to this rule so that’s where the pool work can be very rewarding because it eliminates any pounding and further injury to your knee.
It's foundation building time again: Work through your full range of motion and focus on strengthening all of the knees supporting muscles. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so work your way through it, the payoff is an injury free, stronger more functional body.
Play safe and have fun,
Written by: Tommy Europe, host of The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp and Bulging Brides
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