The Number One Thing to Remember When Training With an Injury

Welcome to February, everyone. Finally. For some reason, January felt like the longest month ever. Add injury to that, and well, it just seemed to drag on even more…

Okay okay done with the January jokes

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What injury you may ask? Well, if you’ve been keeping up with my Equinox training series with Tier-3+ trainer, Roy Chan, you know what I’m talking about. If not, you can learn more here.

Last week, I hit a roadblock in my training sessions with Roy: an irritated hip flexor.

After a rough weekend in pain (not to mention a mini-emotional breakdown), I was relieved to see my physiotherapist, Jesse Awenus, at Synergy Sports Medicine first thing Monday morning. Jesse was the one who got me through my neck injury two years ago, and I knew I could count on him to help me out and to relieve my physical (and mental!) discomfort.

So what exactly happened? According to Jesse, my hip flexor most likely got irritated from overuse, meaning ay motion that causes my hip to flex past 90 degrees (ie. a lunge or a squat) was compressing my hip flexor tendon, causing a “pinch”-like pain at the front and inside of my hip. Jesse recommended that I do gentle hip flexor contraction exercises that didn’t involve the muscle shortening or lengthening to decrease strain in the tendon and allow it to bend and move more freely. This included lying on my back, bending my right knee up and pressing my knee into my hands for five seconds, and frog pumps.

As for my training with Roy? Well, our original plan sort of went out the window, and the focus was on managing the pain and doing corrective training to allow time for the inflammation to heal. This meant bringing down the level of intensity and focusing more on the core, where there was proven to be imbalances based on my initial assessment. The setback would potentially affect my body composition goal (losing 3mm off my skin folds and one per cent body fat), but again, the most important thing was take it easy while waiting for the inflammation to pass.

But here’s the thing with getting an Equinox Tier-3+ trainer: it’s not just about the physical training — there’s also a focus on nutrition and regeneration. Both of these things were high up on the list this week, with Roy encouraging me to remove the things in my life that would cause more pain (drinking alcohol and eating sugar, for example, which would increase inflammation) and add more things to my life that would help heal the pain, like foam rolling, mobility training in the form of gentle exercises, consuming good nutrients and getting more rest.

The getting more rest part was easy (more time in bed? Yes, please!) but avoiding fried foods, sugar and alcohol was trickier. Still, I did it because I was eager to get back to normal training mode. I also took Well Told Health’s Anti-Inflammatory Booster daily in an attempt to heal the inflammation faster.

Next week is my final workout and the results of my training sessions with Roy. The big questions: Will I still be able to meet my body composition goals with the setback? Will I be able to meet my other goals — improving my rotary stability to 2:2 and five push-ups off the ground? Or will I feel like a complete failure because of this damn injury?

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Find out in the last post of this diary next week!

In the meantime, here’s my weekly workout:

Corrective Strategy/Movement Prep

Front bridge — Go on all fours and lift knees off the ground for 20 seconds at a time. Repeat three times.

Back bridge — Lie on the ground with knees bent and arms at a 45 degree angle. Lift hips and hold for three seconds. Repeat eight times.

Resistance Training Set A (Repeat 3 Times)

Kettlebell Romanian deadlift — Using a 16kg kettlebell, squat letting the kettlebell hang down in front of you, around your ankle area. Avoid arching your back. Slowly rise up to the starting position, pushing your hips towards the kettlebell (kind of like you’re humping it). Because of my injury, I didn’t squat to my full capacity, just to where it didn’t cause any pain.

Seated machine cable row — Sit with your back at a 100 degree angle to the bench. Using both hands, pull the cable back into a rowing motion, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Repeat 10 times.

Floor dumbbell chest press — Lie on the floor with your feet flat on the ground. Put your arms at your sides at a 90 degree angle. Using 15lb dumbbells in each hand push arms towards the ceiling, then go back to starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Resistance Training Set B (Repeat 3 Times)

Goblet Squat — Squat using a 10kg kettlebell for 10 reps.

Seated machine cable pull down — Sitting at the machine, pull down the cable bar to chest. Repeat 10 times.

Push-up on knees — Repeat for 10 reps.