With the easing of restrictions, gyms and studio classes are gradually reopening. Exciting days are ahead to be back in the gym after being stuck at home for the past few months. Staying indoors and restrictions with gym/ sports has caused us to tailor our exercise routines. Many of us wouldn’t be able to continue with our gym program at home (maybe because Kmart’s exercise equipment sold like hotcakes). It’s really important that we transition back to the gym safely from our homework outs.
We need to take into account if some of us managed to keep up our fitness with walks/bike rides compared to resistance exercises. Keeping up with cardiovascular fitness will differ to keeping up with strengthening your muscles. The weights you use when returning to gym may differ from the amount that you were using before the restrictions. Especially, if we have not been keeping up with the exercises at the same intensity.
- Warm-ups and Cooldowns
Investing some time in your gym routine for warm-ups and cool-downs will be highly beneficial for injury prevention. Try starting with the first 5-10 mins of light exercise and stretches in the area that you will be working on during your session. If you’re having an arms day, start with lighter weights to get the area warmed up before increasing the load. Dynamic stretches and foam rolling are also some good ideas before starting your workout.
Conversely, investing time for your cool-downs will help you gradually return your heart rate and breathing to return to normal. Furthermore, gentle stretching after the workout will help with muscle recovery and repair once you’ve finished the satisfying workout.
It’s important not to go back and deadlift your usual 150kg if you have been resting at home for the past few months. We tend to lose our strength quickly if there has been a break/ period of inactivity. You should consider starting more conservatively and slowly increase your load over the next few weeks. If you start off lifting too heavy too quickly, you may start developing compensatory movement patterns that increase your risk of injury, or worse, you get an acute injury from it. The last thing we want is for you to get an injury and spent more time away from the gym!
There is a high risk of re-injury during this period of re-loading and re-training. Remember to respect your body’s capacity and gradually build up your load again. If you feel any niggles after your session, which feels different from your usual muscle fatigue, getting it treated early will help you avoid any more time away from the gym. If you feel like you’ve overdone it at the gym, let us help you! Or if you feel like you need more guidance in your return-to-gym plan, let us help you return back to the gym safely.
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