In Victoria, many of us avid group exercisers, keen gym goers and team sport players have been looking forward to “June 22nd” – the date restrictions were eased on exercise centres.
Though, our eager excitement and stronger than ever motivation should not blind side us into thinking we are at the level of fitness we were 3 months ago, pre-isolation – even if you have been working out from home. We could’ve lost condition and strength as well as mobility, and if we hit the gym pumping with full force we are potentially looking at injury and prolonging our long-awaited return to usual exercise.
So, as gyms re-open and we start to exercise outside the comfort of our lounge room, we have some tips and tricks to make the return to your pre-isolation exercise regime smooth and most importantly, without injury.
- Get your technique checked by your physio and develop a post-isolation exercise plan to avoid injury and manage your return to full capacity safely.
- Don’t go too hard, too early! Even if exercising throughout the lockdown, chances are you were undergoing exercise differently to your norm – your body needs time to adapt to the changes you challenge it with.
- Warm-up and cool-down properly using professionally guided advice on stretching, foam-rolling and icing techniques to aid in your recovery and keep you returning to those exercise sessions.
- Slow down and be in-tune with how your body is feeling with each exercise – focus on form and posture.
- Drop weights, we recommend by 30% for at least your first few sessions then add ~10% per week, gradually increasing over 4-8 weeks (Hinchliffe, 2020). The initial gains you get from starting exercise are from improvements in neural recruitment and coordination, so you will likely still see improvements in strength and tone of the muscle despite a lighter weight, therefore no need to rush into it!
- If you play a team sport, ensure you have a slow progression training regime sorted. We are already seeing an increase in injury with return to sport at a professional level. We welcome sporting clubs to consult us to help put together a graded return-to-sport training plan and help implement an injury-prevention training regime.
Don’t feel like you have to make up for lost time, remember exercise and health care is always a marathon not a sprint.
If you find yourself developing new discomfort or pain that doesn’t reduce within a few days’ book in to see us to help you get back on track. Not only can we help treat injuries, but we can help prevent them. We can achieve this through physio guided exercise regimes, via individual physiotherapy consultations and group clinical exercise classes. This can be a great addition to your exercise regime to help you achieve those pre-isolation goals.
We are available for in-practice and telehealth consultations, and if you aren’t quite ready to return to your local fitness centre, our live stream classes are still up and running.
For more information or assistance with returning to exercise, you can contact our team or book a consultation online here.
Please note, information provided in this article is general advice only. For individual advice, we recommend a consultation.
References: Hinchliffe, J., 2020. Physiotherapists warn gym-goers to ease back into exercise post-coronavirus. ABC Radio Brisbane, [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 June 2020].