Should You Workout or Rest when Injured?


“With great pain comes big muscles”, “No pain, no gain”… these are some of the commonly used statements in a gym parlance. But do these statements always hold water.

Yes, you definitely have to work hard and move through pain to get a better and shapely body. But when you are going through pain caused by a physical injury then it is not a smart move to workout with the same vigor. Au contraire avoiding all physical activities in the name of recovery is also not the right way to move forward. If you tackle injury problems with tact and consult a physical therapist you will be not only rehab but still be on your road to fitness.

Ease through injury

If you have friends who work out then you might have seen them working out even if they have an injury. It’s a good thing to know that people are passionate about their work outs and an injury that hampers the basic range of movement can be frustrating. However we draw an untimely inspiration from athletes who have worked through pain and went on to achieve greatness.

When you work through pain the body makes adjustments which may then manifest in the way you walk or sit. For example if you work through a neck pain in the morning, by the end of the day your posture and sitting position becomes abnormal. And if you continue to ignore the pain and keep working out you it may lead to muscle imbalances and long term injuries.

Think about these two injuries and how your body adjusts: –

  • You have injured your right shoulder and you are doing bench presses. To compensate the pain on your right side you place more tension on the left side. This is a bas form of exercising.
  • You have injured your leg but you are comfortable limping around the gym. However this limp puts the hips under extra tension which may lead to future injuries.

So should you rest during an injury?

If you rest throughout the injury, then your body becomes weak which may lead to chronic pain. Hence you must consult a physical therapist or a certified trainer who might suggest a few rehab exercises, special movements and completely cut off a few exercises.

How to train in the gym with an injury?

Exercise in front of a professional so that they can examine you and suggest variations. For instance reducing the grip width, altering the stance and posture and reducing weights may make someone comfortable. If you are still uncomfortable then you should switch to other pain free exercises.

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