We've all been injured. We worked out too hard, didn't pay attention to our body, went too fast or too hard and got injured. It happens to all of us, also to fitness professionals.
It happened to me the other day too. I was working out with weights, but didn't do a proper warm up. Maybe I went too heavy with the weights. Or maybe I was just rushing. Whatever it was, the next day I woke up with an incredibly sore back.
Of course, it's not the end of the world. Way worse thing happen. But it was bad enough to ruin my workouts for the next couple of days. I don't know how long it's going to last, but I'm pretty sure it's going to take another couple of days before I feel like my old self again.
I was so antsy to go and lift kettlebells today, but sometimes you really have to force yourself to listen to your body and be reasonable. It's like working out when you are sick–it's not too likely that you are going to rock your workout when you have a cold and fever.
So, a HIIT workout was not going to happen, because all the jumping and other explosive exercises would have made my back even worse.
There was no way I would have lifted any kettlebells or sandbags.
The repetitive bouncing of running would have hurt my back even worse. So, no running either.
Is there anything I could do?
All the Bad Things Are Good for Something – Even Injuries
But I try to think positive and after first frustration, I always come to a conclusion that all the bad things are good for something–even if I'm getting injured. That's how it usually goes. There are way bigger problems in the world than a little back issue that is probably gone in a few days.
But I want to move, because that makes me feel good and keeps me sane, so I had to find ways to do it. There are not too many exercises where you can avoid using your back, or at least not in the way that bothers me, but there are some things that I can do.
What I'm Doing When I Can't Do My Regular Workouts
So, here are some of the things that I have done when I haven't been able to lift heavy kettlebells, jump and run and do other explosive movements.
I have a funny relationship with yoga. When I'm on this yoga “wagon”, I absolutely love it. I could go three times a week and enjoy every class. I usually go to Yoga To The People in Berkeley. If you are local you may want to check out this cute studio. They also have a studio in New York, where I two years ago had the best yoga class in my life. Seriously, on this day, everything was absolutely right–mentally, physically and spiritually. It was magical.
Nowadays I don't go to yoga all that often. Like I said, I have kind of fallen off the wagon. But when I go, I totally fall in love with it again.
Since last week, I have been to the class a couple of times now and it's been awesome. Besides, it is great for stretching, helping to lengthen my hamstrings and releasing tension in my hips. I am still stretching every night since I started my February stretching challenge, but going to a yoga class is way more different than doing my own stretching routine at home.
My goals are to get better in pistol squats, chin ups and to be able to do a handstand. I have to say that I haven't been the most consistent person on Earth on working on those things.
One of the reasons is that I'm often short on time, so I tend to do my short 10-20 minute HIIT workout first and then spend a short 5-10 minutes on practicing one of those things if I have time. What I should be doing instead is to start with pistols, chin ups and handstands, practice those and then do the HIIT.
But when I don't have much time, I prioritize HIIT and the skill practice usually has to go. It would also make sense that if I really have just 20 minutes, I just skip the HIIT and do only the skill practice. That would get me closer to my goals, to finally master those hard bodyweight exercises.
But now when I hurt my back and burpees, high knees and sprints are not really available right now, I have taken time to practice my pistols and chin ups. They don't bother my back. Yesterday, I spent almost an hour doing various exercises:
Band assisted Pistols
Pistols on a Bench
Knees to Elbows
In addition, I did some handstand wall walks and 50 push ups.
So, another good thing about my current situation–I'm actually focusing on things that I want to become stronger at.
Okay, I walk quite a bit anyway, but I do it even more now when I can't do my usual HIIT workouts. I try to walk 10 000 steps every day. Sometimes I end up walking more, sometimes less, but if the weather allows, I do my best to reach this number.
Podcasts keep me a great company and I always have so many to catch up with.
Also, I start every morning with a little walk. Rain or shine, I'm out! Because I'm mostly working from home, I simply can't sit down again first thing after getting up from the bed. My body and brain just don't function that way, I have to do some sort of physical activity before getting to work.
Even if you are injured, you can most likely walk. Do that. It doesn't matter that you may not break sweat. It's still way better than doing nothing.
Even if you are injured, you can probably find some way to move and work out. See the injury as a chance to work on things that you may sometimes neglect or forget about.
Maybe you are always working out your legs but forget about the arms? Maybe you don't stretch at all? You can also think about why the injury happened and learn from that, for example, learn not to choose too heavy weights, not to go too fast and always keep your form in check.
And always, stay positive–so many things, also recovering from and injury is easier, when you are staying positive. Right mindset is as important as physical recovery.