Getting back to it after lockdown?
Rushing back will cause injuries and severe aching, in my opinion when returning to the gym go slow and steady. Whether you were getting into running, powerlifting or just a general gym goer.
Defence against Covid-19
It has been shown that the best defence against Covid was to be fit and healthy. The highest risk factors were hypertension, heart problems and diabetes. Check this blog I wrote recently for links to some research on this.
Obviously as people age the effectiveness of their immune system weakens so this has to be mentioned. However, obesity was another frequently mentioned risk factor which is commonly linked to the other risk factors.
Research has shown that high levels of vitamins D and C help to fight the disease. Being physically healthy help, specifically having a good functioning cardio-respiratory system also helps.
If you haven’t been staying active over lockdown via walks, runs, home workouts or a home gym start as soon as you can. With anything, anything is better than nothing. Aside from the benefits of build stronger immune system it will also help your mental health.
Finally, one of the things you need to be careful of is not resting enough and doing too much exercise. It will cause your immune system to weaken and make you more susceptible to Corona. There are signs that your immune system is weakening.
Cuts taking longer to heal
Low energy levels
If you're getting a few of these and starting to want to take a day off exercising, try doing something less intense and have an active recovery day.
Jozef touches on this in his blog as well.
For those of us who like to lift heavy weights a lot of it takes co-ordination also known as a motor skill. Particularly when performing a deadlift or a squat. You have to understand what’s going on with your back, are your heels coming off the floor or are your knees caving in?
We have just spent 2 months sat around doing nothing for the most part so your hips and back will probably be locked up more than the last time you worked out.
Mine certainly were.
Start off light and try to practice with a light weight for the next few weeks and let your body get used to lifting heavy weights again.
When you exercise you’re putting your body under tremendous amounts of stress. When running you can put 4 times your bodyweight through your joints. When weight lifting we expose our bodies to an enormous amount of weight, our bodies build up and adapt to the weights we lift.
When I say this I imagine most people are thinking muscles but i’m actually meaning the ligaments and tendons. Ligaments attach bone to bone and tendons attach bone to muscle.
Tendons are springy and elasticated and when we jump they help us to take off. Typically these are injured or strained when people lift too much too quick. You have probably just had two months off, find a weight that’s about 6/10 get a few good sets with that and focus more on your mobility.
That feeling you get when you bang your elbow that’s a tendon. When the doctor used to get a hammer looking thing and bang on your knee to make you kick out, yeh that’s a tendon as well. That bone sticking out of the back of the ankle, well it's not a bone, it's your achilees tendon.
Ligaments are damaged typically when you’ve got two forces pulling or pushing different directions causing a twisting or contorted effect on the body.
For example in the picture I did an ok squat. In the second picture the knees are collapsing in. If this continues the ligaments in the knees will be under stress and eventually injured.
You can’t spend 2 months off the gym and then go back to squatting your pre-lockdown weight. It just won’t least not in a healthy way no matter how many squats you did at home.
Another injury that is quite common is shin splints. It is typically when a runner increases the frequency or distance of their running on their training plan too quickly. When we go for runs we create tiny micro-fractures within the bones. With adequate rest and recovery these heal and make the bones stronger. However, if they aren’t given enough time to recover they don’t repair and with every run they become bigger. Shin Splints cause massive amounts of pain and swelling in the shins.
To recover from shin splints you want to try and reduce the swelling as much as possible, try leaving ice or a frozen bag of peas on your shins. Try working on some ankle/ foot mobility as well because this can impact how your foot strikes the ground when running which is a known influencer of shin splint likelihood..
I believe one of the best tools you can have in any gym is a foam roller it an massiely help your recovery and prevent injuries. In the video below I talk a bit about a foam roller but also how to squat and what you can do if you're noticing pains or any problems when you do squat
I hope this helps!
Happy lifting, Marcus