Comeback Trail: Returning to Exercise After Injury

It’s disappointing encountering a setback like a serious injury, especially if you are training for something in particular other than leisure or a hobby.

If you’re diligent enough to take care of your body with an awesome exercise routine, you should never take that for granted. It’s far too easy for a momentary lapse in concentration, or neglect in looking after your body properly, to have your progress stalled by an injury. And that may mean extended time away from exercise – or even surgery, followed by rehab – to get you going again.

And while this situation can be all too common, there are some steps you can take to get yourself back to regular exercise.

Step 1: Find out what the problem is from a professional – and what you can do to fix it.

If there is a problem with your body that has appeared over time and doesn’t feel right, please see a physio or a GP to determine what the problem is. Don’t assume you and Dr Google can work it out together. Even if you’re found to just have general tightness or stress, at least you’ll know for sure, and you’ll know which areas of your body need a little extra attention. If the problem is more serious, however, your health professional will either design a rehab program to help fix the issue, or refer you to someone else who will.

Step 2: Stick To Your Rehab.

This applies to everyone with an injury, whether you’ve broken your arm from sport or developed a muscle tear from overuse. Either way, it’s critical that you stick to your rehab!

It will be designed to make you stronger and better than when you injured yourself, so the more you can abide by the plan, the faster your recovery and the better you’ll be when it’s time to return to exercise. It’s easy to get impatient or frustrated with what you’re doing because you’re used to being active, but don’t let the frustration impact your progress. Follow the plan until you have the “all clear” from the surgeon or physio, and then you’ll be well placed to pick up where you left off.

Step 3: Exercise With A Professional Instructor

Once you have the green light to return to exercise after rehab, try to participate in an exercise program that is led by a fitness professional.

You may not have done that before your injury, and maybe you enjoyed solo exercises like a gym session or a long run, but having someone there with you who knows your limits, your specific injury information and has good knowledge of how different exercises need to be performed is essential.

The reason for this is that, even in a workout space with mirrors, you cannot fully see yourself and analyse your own movements. You might have the best kinaesthetic awareness but it is never going to be as good as having a second pair of eyes right there with you to help guide you through. Your instructor will be invaluable in ensuring that there is no chance of re-injury and no chance of your progress being halted again. One of the advantages of Studio Pilates workouts is that the instructors are all highly trained in adjusting workouts to the needs of individuals, and being very present through every exercise.

Step 4: Implementing Studio Pilates into your workout routine, of course!

Getting back to your regular exercise routine (or even a more enhanced routine) relies on gradual, healthy progress. Remember to be patient and take your time – and soon you’ll be unstoppable!


About the Author – Studio Pilates Instructor Stuart Rech

Studio Pilates instructor, Stuart Rech, combines his experience in the health and fitness industry with more than 10 years as a national level, elite swimmer. He now devotes his time to ensuring his clients are the best people they can be, both physically and mentally.