Recovering From An Injury

Injury stretch

How exactly did I recover? Well, back when I only had a back injury, I didn’t touch my kettlebells nor did I touch any other weights. I understood that my back needed a break and I gave it the rest it deserved. I didn’t stop working out, though. I pushed through with my “emergency” workout which I often use if I’m in a place that lacks a gym or kettlebells. As I always prefer simple workouts, this mainly consists of just two bodyweight exercises. Here’s how it goes:

10 strict push ups ; 10 body squats

10 strict push ups ; 10 body squats

5 strict push ups; 5 body squats

That’s one set or equivalent to 25 push ups and 25 squats per set x 4. You can finish one set anyway you want. I just wanted to have a good number and a good measure on how many sets to get to 100 reps each. It usually takes me about 18 minutes to finish this workout.

Now you must be thinking “aren’t you supposed to not do anything if you’re injured”? Well, fact of the matter is that certain muscle injuries (by certain I mean not serious or life-threatening) can actually be remedied faster if you move. I chose the push-up since it won’t exactly put all the load on your back despite the grinding motion. It actually makes you focus on hardening the core and keeping a straight spine. The squat helps by flexing your back muscles through leg movements and how it also promotes core tightening and a straight spine at the same time.

Proper swing
This is the correct form

Again if you would notice I put emphasis on the words “core tightening” and “straight spine”. What do these two “terms” have in common? Well, these two are necessary when it comes to proper posture. If you read the first page (and if you did, thank you) you noticed how I insisted on proper posture to avoid injury regardless of what activity you do. A tight core and a straight spine (straight is not always vertical which is important in the swing) helps your body get the necessary and focus when doing your workouts. A loose core and a slouched spine would not only result to minimum muscular performance but will also greatly increase the chances of getting an injury.

Want to test it? Get a moderate-sized bell and place it in front of you. Squat down in front of it and grab it by the horns with two hands. Now, without tightening the core or straightening the spine, try to slowly nudge it up a bit. Don’t attempt to lift it all the way with this posture, lift it just enough for you to feel the weight dragging you down. It shouldn’t lift more than an inch above ground. Now try the same thing again but this time tighten the core and do it with a straight spine and you’ll see the difference in ease and effort exerted.

Now as for my neck-shoulder injury, I ditched the push-up entirely and focused on working out with squats. I did 200 squats while actively pulling my arms forward and back to ensure the muscles in my upper body are “massaging” my injury. I didn’t want to even attempt a single push up as it could risk aggravating my injury even more. I also stretched my neck from side to side as I also suspected injury on my traps. I tried a few of these suggestions and it helped relieve the pain somewhat and perhaps even contributed to my recovery.

Bad swing
Old but gold

If all goes well, I should be back on track by Sunday. I don’t want to risk lifting yet but I’m assuming kettlebell swings wouldn’t hurt me as much as push-ups would, the former being a low-impact exercise compared to the latter. While resting, I began to think about stuff to write about and I got lots of it. I’ll be sure to blog during the weekends.

See ya!

Robert James
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