Whether it’s coming off of a serious acute injury or dealing with a chronic one, trying to figure out where to start is tough.
You may be at a point where most movements hurt and you’re afraid to exacerbate what’s already there. But you know that what you’re doing now isn’t improving your problem.
Maybe you’re on pain medication, or getting massages, or doing stretches prescribed by a therapist or doctor.
So what do we do? We find a suitable entry point in exercise that allows you to build up strength and tolerance in a muscle or joint.
This comes in the form of exercise regressions, and can look something like these:
- Reducing load (even to the point of bodyweight or less)
- Reducing range of motion
- Slowing down movement tempo
- And if none of these modifications work, you need to consider exercise selection
For example, if we’re dealing with classic lower back pain and you’re trying to train a deadlift/hip hinge pattern, your sequence could look like this:
- Start with a full range deadlift with moderate load
- Pain is felt, so we try reducing the range of motion to a Romanian Deadlift
- Pain is still felt, so we slow down our movement speed
- Pain is still felt, so we try the movement without any load
- If pain is still felt at this point, the hip hinging movement pattern is not tolerable right now and different exercises need to be considered
You can very well end up at step 3 for example and find that slowing down the tempo makes the symptoms disappear. Now you’ve found your training entry point.
This whole process is aimed at finding ways to train because that is a proven method to not only manage symptoms of pain but correct the root issue and reach a long-term solution.
And while finding that entry point can be tough, a qualified coach makes all the difference in the world!
To your good health,