Happy Super Saturday Body Designs Fans!
I am coming to you tonight because I am sure your most of you will be focusing on the Pro Athletes tomorrow. So tonight, I’d like you to focus on the athlete in you.
When most people join a gym or hire a personal trainer, their main goal is to either lose weight / look better or attain better health. However, there are times when we all suffer physical aliments outside of the gym. But, due to the fact that we’ve been exercising regularly, we are normally not sidelined for as long as someone would be who hadn’t been doing the “preventative” work.
That’s right folks. While you see many people come into our facility for physical therapy as a post-op process, more often than not, their issues would be less severe if they were exercising before their injury or operation occurred. The main reason for this should be obvious. If it isn’t, here’s why… many injuries are caused by simply having weak muscles. The stronger ones overcompensate, creating muscle imbalances, thus sometimes resulting in injury or slowing the rehabilitation process. However, when someone is constantly training and therefore strengthening their muscle and skeletal system, their need for a traditional “rehabilitation” therapy becomes limited.
For example, a client that I haven been training for almost a decade had an extremely intrusive back surgery this past Tuesday. Her husband sent me a picture of her using a walker, traveling down the hospital hallway on Wednesday, less than 12 hours after her procedure!
I have another long-term client, an avid skier and a very young-at-heart (and soul) senior citizen mind you, who had knee surgery over the summer. She just got back from her first ski trip of the season with no reported discomfort. She’s gonna hit the slopes again next Friday! And, by the way, she was back hitting the weights (yes, doing leg exercises) and doing Tai Chi (at times standing on one leg) less than a month after the “scope”.
Of course, there is the runner, who, even by my standards, does too much exercise and took a fall while running with her dogs. She had her knee scoped and, she actually came in, cane in toe, the same week as her surgery. I don’t recommend it. But she did it. And we “rehabed” her pretty fast. Now, she still trains too much, outside the gym anyway, but no one can argue with her results!
Remember, doing weight bearing exercise helps all muscles get stronger; not only the ones meant to be shown off at the beach. There are smaller, less visible muscles that assist the bigger ones in doing their job. Also, weight training increases the strength of ligaments (which connect bones to each other) and tendons (which connect muscles to bones). As a result, the amount of force needed to injure these skeletal structures increases, limiting its likelihood.
And then, yes, there’s my brother, who, as most of you know, earlier this year ruptured his distal biceps’ tendon trying to lift a box. Now, I am not saying that his injury wouldn’t have been as severe if he had been working out regularly. But, what I AM saying, is that it probably wouldn’t have happened at all! Why? the most common cause happens when a middle-aged man (sorry Ant) lifts a box or other heavy item with his elbows bent. Often the load is heavier than expected, or the load may shift unexpectedly during the lift. This forces the elbow to straighten, even though the biceps muscle is working hard to keep the elbow bent. The biceps muscle contracts extra hard to help handle the load. As tension on the muscle and tendon increases, the distal biceps tendon snaps or tears where it connects to the radius (the larger bone of the forearm).
So my fine football fans, the next time you think about “taking a break” from training, remember a break, a rupture or a tear is part of what you are trying to avoid. Accidents happen. But try to limit the damage by limiting your “breaks”.