Gym return

June 17, 2020

With gyms reopening this week you need to have a plan for how to safely return to your pre-isolation gym exercise routine. A lot can happen to your body in 3 months and you need to be kind to it to get the rewards you're looking for.

How will isolation affect your return to the gym?

Many people have continued with regular exercise at home but the type and intensity may have been quite different from what they were doing before, leading to reduced strength and conditioning. For those who used their extra time to increase walking, cycling or running their cardiovascular fitness may have dramatically improved however their strength may have deteriorated. Many have been more sedentary and significantly reduced their energy output leading to reduced overall fitness.

Your muscles and tendons are likely to have shrunk during COVID-19 isolation and this makes you more susceptible to injury. You may feel great after your first few sessions, however, niggles may appear or you may get a flare-up of a previous injury. This is your body telling you to slow down, decrease frequency, intensity and duration, or take a rest.

If you start off by placing too large of a demand on your body, you run the risk of injury and a return to isolation – exercise isolation!!

Tips for a healthy return to the gym and to avoid injury

  • don't expect to start where you left off
    • ease back into your exercise regime
    • start with flexibility workouts in order to increase blood flow and circulation while assisting in range of motion and joint mobility
    • add in light cardiorespiratory workouts if you have taken a serious break from all exercise
    • drop your weights for the first few weeks by at least 20% and up to 30% if you have not been training at all
    • be realistic with the number of days you exercise
    • trial 3 days per week for the first few weeks
    • rest between sessions to allow sufficient recovery
    • listen to your body and slow down or stop exercises that give you ‘niggles’
    • look after your form and keep a check on your posture
    • get your technique checked.

Most of all you need to look after your own health and safety in the gym. You may choose to drop your weights rather than have a spotter or do exercises you are familiar with rather than trying something new and having poor technique.

Be mindful of your end goal and do your best to stay on track – avoiding injury setbacks.

You know where we are if you need us to check your technique and advise you on safely returning to your pre-COVID exercise program.

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