Tips for Your Return to the Gym
As the world starts to reopen, many people are excited to get back in the gym. Whether you've been working out at home, running outside, or have taken this time to take a break from working out all together, there are a few things to keep in mind before you head back to the gym.
1) Running and strength training are not the same. Too often we have patients who have been running as their only form of exercise. This can lead to overuse injuries from the repetitive motion of running without proper cross training. It's important to strength train at least 2 days a week to prevent running injuries. However, running also does not get you in shape to lift weights or even do body weight training. Be sure to start slow and increase resistance, range of motion, and difficulty of strengthening exercises as you build strength.
2) It is OK if you took this time to rest - but you need to respect that you've likely lost some strength. If you were previously going to the gym and lifting heavy weights multiple days a week, and have spent the last two months binge watching Netflix instead, you should not jump back into the workouts you were doing the first week of March. Go with lighter weights and keep your expectations in check. Give yourself time to get back to where you were pre-quarantine!
3) Remember to train in all planes of motion. Most of the home workouts we've seen include a lot of squats, lunges, burpees, etc. These all happen in what we call the sagittal plane of motion. There are two other planes of motion we want to work in - the frontal plane and the transverse plane. Exercises in the frontal plane include jumping jacks, side steps, lateral shoulder lifts, etc. Exercises in the transverse plane would include any type of rotational movement. (If you have questions on these planes of motion, send us a message!).
4) Monitor your discomfort and adjust as needed. You'll likely notice some muscle fatigue, burning, and soreness with things that were not very difficult before. That's OK! But if you experience sharp pain or significant swelling the next day, we recommend you ease up on the next work out. And if those symptoms don't resolve, consult a movement specialist sooner rather than later. It's much easier to address an acute issue than one that has been lingering for months (or years!).
If you have specific questions or concerns about returning to an exercise program, we would love to help you return to your active lifestyle confidently. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text (513) 208-2257 to set up your free 10 minute phone consult!