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. 

Elin, is an alumni of St. Edward’s University and holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, furthered her academic journey by attaining a Doctor of Physiotherapy from Macquarie University in 2022.

Her passion for sports, particularly football (soccer), is evident in both her academic pursuits and personal endeavors. Specialising in the comprehensive well-being of athletes, Elin focuses on restoring them to peak performance while actively preventing future injuries.

Elin’s professional expertise is centered on musculoskeletal rehabilitation, with a specific emphasis on addressing and preventing knee injuries. Her approach integrates expert treatment with a commitment to educating and empowering patients, fostering their active involvement in enhancing their health and overall quality of life.

As an active participant in NPL football with SD Raiders, Elin brings firsthand experience and a profound understanding of the sport’s demands. Beyond the field, she extends her influence by contributing sports coverage over the weekends.

Christopher (Chris) Han graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, and then completed the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University in 2018. Chris is currently undertaking his PhD at the University of Sydney and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health in the field of low back pain and is due to complete this in early 2024. 

Chris is currently an assistant Physiotherapist for the NRL Referees. Chris has previous experience as the head Physiotherapist at Panthers Premier League Netball and a number of elite sporting athletes in the private setting.

Through Chris’ experiences, he has a particular interest in all areas of the body and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports, vestibular rehabilitation, and Men’s Health (pre and post prostate surgery).

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, in cardiac rehabilitation, neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since working at Progressive, Andrea has a specialist interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries, helping people in the mid-late stage of rehab to get them to return to sport or work. As well as helping people manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.