Dr Rebecca Nicholas, doctor of chiropractic and owner of Back 2 Balance. She writes about the potential for high injury rates in the gym, as the easing of lockdown starts. She urges one to go gently into training, rather than push to be the level they were before lockdown. 

It’s the start of the easing back into ‘normal’ life, and there is an air of hope and anticipation for life to open up.

Week commencing 12th April and gyms, pubs, outside restaurants, hairdressers, spas and salons open their doors to the public. Fantastic I hear you cry. I am so pleased to see businesses re-open, after, what I can only imagine has been a never ending nightmare (I had to pretty much close for 1-2 months last year at the start of Covid and I felt that my whole world and life was ripped from me). On the flip side, I am concerned and worried about the impact of going from nothing to something. 

Impact of Lockdown

The gym is a prime example, and one where I, as a chiropractor, am mostly placing my concern. For some folk, they will have carried on training at home, online classes, etc, and will have maintained some, if not all of their muscle strength and fitness. For others, not so diligent, this week will be the first time (for a minimum of 3/4 months) that they are back training again. The human body is designed to have regular and consistent forces applied to it. It works best like that. Going from nothing to potentially overdoing it, will lead to more injuries. In the gym environment we tend to push ourselves further than we would on our own. Whilst that can be beneficial for physical growth, it is not good if there hasn’t been any active/training for several months. 

It’s not just the doms feeling you will be reminded of, it is also about starting at the bottom of a training programme rather than straight in at the level you once were used to performing at. We must take into consideration that the large majority of people have been sitting on their bottoms for more time than they ever have. You go from a situation where people have been sitting lots, not training, high levels of stress and tension, to a socially pressured venue, where we need to burn off our stress, lose the lockdown weight, and get fit again. This is a melting pot for sports injuries. 

Injuries like lumbar disc bulges and herniations, bicep tendon ruptures, rotator cuff tendinitis and impingement syndrome, hamstring tears, achilles tendinopathy, knee cruciate and meniscus tears to name a few. 

The solution

My hope for this blog is not to scare, it is to influence a ‘go gently and carefully’ mantra. We do not want to see lots of our clients or new clients coming in because they did not heed my warning. Treat your body with kindness, give it time to build back up, and allow recovery time.

My Top Tips:

  • low weight to start. Increase reps and sets before increasing weight
  • start with 50% of your PB
  • warm up before hand
  • be mindful when you are exercising, listen in to your body
  • rest days will allow tissue repair and muscle growth
  • no ‘maximal’ stuff yet
  • avoid twisting till your body gets used to exercising again
  • stretch afterwards to help DOMS
  • have a well aligned and well adjusted body- helps prevent injury
  • have a varied stimulus- core, balance, flexibility, strength, different movement patterns

If you have any worries or questions about easing back into the gym, please reach out to us, request a complimentary chat on the phone 01273 206868, or book yourself in for a session. Alternatively ping us an email info@back2balance.co.uk.

Let’s get strong and healthy together without injury!