Avoiding Injury After Lockdown – What You Need To Know

As lockdown finishes this week, it’s a time that we have all been looking forward to, especially those of us who enjoy our daily gym routine. 

Although it might be tempting to head back to our pre-lockdown routine straight away, it’s important to recognise the extended time that we’ve had off, as jumping back into exercise too quickly can lead to injury. 

So, how can we avoid injury when returning to exercise? Here’s what you need to know.  

Preparation is key     

Since some of our muscles haven’t been used in over three months, it’s important that you prepare and stretch before exercising. Warming up allows more blood to flow into our muscles and improves our range of motion, therefore, making our body more resilient to injury. Although it is often overlooked when we’re eager to exercise, stretching and warming up can improve our performance and significantly reduce the risk of injury when exercising. Stretching will also help reduce muscle aches and pains in the following days after exercise. 

Don’t go too hard too quick  

If you have reduced your training during lockdown, it’s more than likely that you won’t be at the same fitness level that you once were. When returning to exercise, it’s important that you don’t progress your load too quickly as it can put a significant strain on your muscles and can increase your risk of injury. For our gym-goers, we recommend starting with a safe weight for the first three weeks and gradually increasing over time. This means not trying to hit your pre-lockdown PB within the first week of returning to the gym. By gradually increasing the days you exercise, the duration of your sessions and even the weights you lift, will help avoid and protect your body from injury.  

Improve Your Form     

Too often, we see clients enter our practice that have injured themselves by having poor technique. Having poor form while exercising can lead to a range of injuries, including strains, sprains, tears and more. Prioritising and improving your form and technique will help you avoid injury and muscle strains when returning to exercise. 

For example, when performing a squat, try using a lighter weight to ensure that you have the correct form when lowering. If you’re unsure if your form is correct, you can even ask our friendly Progressive team in your next session.  

Listen to your body     

If you start to experience pain in your back, knees or other areas, it’s usually a sign from your body telling you to slow down and warning you of a potential injury. When returning to exercise, make sure you listen to your body. Taking the time to recover will help you avoid a more severe injury from occurring, one that will take longer to recover from.  

If you are starting to experience pain or muscle aches after returning to exercise, don’t wait! Contact the practice today on (02) 4721 7798, email info@progressiverehab.com.au or book your appointment online here. 

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, working in the cardiac rehabilitation program, heart failure service and mental health unit at Nepean Hospital. And at the ACU Exercise and Lifestyle Clinic working with clients with neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since graduating, Andrea enjoys working with a variety of clients. She has a particular interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries and neurological conditions, striving to help people increase their functional capacity to get them back to work, sport or the things they love doing.