Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Filtering by Category: "Injuries"

Day 253 - Injuries Part 2

In a previous blog, I wrote about injuries, the types of injuries, and how to help prevent them. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid injuries. If you compete in any high level of sport, you know that injuries are inevitable! The road to recovery is the most important step to get back to the level of fitness you were before, and possibly even surpass your level of strength and stamina to a given body part before the injury occurred. By not taking proper procedures, however, can result in long-term injury of a specific facet of your health. Here are some ways to take care of those injuries, big and small.

Examine the Injury - We are not even going to discuss serious trauma, as if there is something serious going on, you need to seek medical assistance immediately, whether that be via ambulance or a hospital visit under your own power.

Next, there is a term called progressive overload. This is the training concept that you should continually challenge yourself from workout, to workout in order to constantly improve and not plateau. As you work out, however, you are aiming to damage or "injure" your muscle tissue. This is one main focus of exercise, as after we have damaged muscle tissue, the body responds by rebuilding the tissue to be (potentially) bigger, stronger, and more powerful than it was before. This is still classified as an injury and should not be taken lightly. After a serious workout, either later in that same day, or the beginning of the next, your muscles will feel sore. Virtually all of us have experienced this. That is the process of broken down muscle tissue that the body is rebuilding. You must give at least 48 hours after a serious workout like this to allow a muscle to full recover, or you will set yourself up for potential injury down the road.

Non-serious trauma usually occurs in soft tissues. These include strains, pulls, twists, jams, etc. You generally do not need to seek medical help immediately, but you should absolutely end your workout at that point and make a doctor's appointment as soon as possible to asses the damage that has been done.

Post-Injury Steps:

Step 1 - First of all, try and assess your injury. This is pretty instinctual as human beings. When we feel an injury, our attention is focused on it almost immediately. Check to make sure you are not bleeding, or disfigured too badly. If you can move, it is best to move yourself to a safe location (if you are not already in a safe location) and have somebody contact emergency services if needed. This is a great reason why it is good to workout with a partner. Too much movement can result in further injury, so as long as you are in a safe position, you should stop moving.

Step 2 - If emergency care is not necessary, then you should elevate the injured body part above heart level, and get some ice on the area as soon as possible. For example, if you feel you have sprained your ankle, you are going to elevate your ankle above chest-height which may require you to lay down, and put ice on your ankle. Icing and elevation helps reduce swelling. If something such as your finger or hand is injured, 10 minutes of ice is great. Something larger, such as an ankle or shoulder should be iced for 20 to 30 minutes. Let the area warm up completely before re-icing. Shortly after an injury, you should ice up to 5 times a day!

Step 3 - Do not exercise right away after an injury, as you will want your body's resources focused on repairing the injury rather then repairing broken down muscle tissue from a strenuous workout.

Step 4 - Once you are feeling a bit better, try and get some range of motion to the injury to prevent atrophy. What you can and can not do is dependent on the location of the injury and how much pain is present, so listen to your body!

Step 5 - I can not stress this enough, do not go back to full exercise until you are feeling back to normal. If you feel as though you have any remaining pain or loss in range of motion, visit your doctor to assess the situation which may require physical therapy. You do not want an injury to become long-term so take the proper precautions!

Quote of the day:
β€œThe trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”
~ Bill Copeland

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 249 - Injuries Part 1

In the fast-paced world we live in today, it is impossible for someone to go through life without having some sort of injury. Small and large injuries happen every day, at all hours of the day. Whether it be stubbing your toe, or pulling a muscle, injuries happen! Nothing becomes more frustrating however, then when you are setting out towards a fitness goal, and you become derailed because of an injury. Below, are some great ways to help avoid injuries the best you can, because even though they may happen, and some injuries are unavoidable, you can take actions towards limiting your chances of injury!

Why, when, how of injuries - There are 2 main classifications of injuries; acute and chronic. Acute injuries occur when there is an overload on your body without any way of buffering it. For example, lifting too heavy of a weight and pulling a muscle, or falling off of your bike and breaking your arm. Acute injuries tend to be an immediate response to that given load.

Chronic injuries are injuries that build up over time. Such as not giving you muscles adequate rest in between workout days, or practicing bad form during resistance training. You may not "feel" injured right away, but over time, continual overuse of a body part will cause a chronic injury.

Warmup - Every single time you exercise, you should begin with a warmup. A correct warmup should start off slow, and increase in intensity gradually for about 5-10 mins. This allows your heart rate to come up a bit and start pumping blood through your arteries and veins, preparing your muscles for the workout ahead. After a warmup a fairly short, full-body stretch could occur to help elongate your muscles and increase their range of motion to prepare for the upcoming events. Note that long, more intense stretching should be completed after the workout has completed. This way your muscles are at their warmest and are much more pliable to gain the most benefits.

Cooldown - All workouts should also have a cooldown, post-workout. Once your workout has completed, you should keep moving, and gradually decrease your movement to ease your heart rate down. Then, and only when your heart rate is down, begin a lengthy stretch session. Stretching post-workout allows the muscle fibers to really open up and allow the blood to flow through and repair damaged tissue, reducing soreness and stiffness the next day.

Incorporate Synergists - Synergistic muscles are muscles that aid or help stabilize main muscle groups in their actions. For example, doing a bench press machine focuses mainly on your chest muscles whereas doing pushups requires more synergists (shoulder, serratus anterior) to stabilize the movement. Free-weights and free range of motion exercises are a great way to prepare yourself for real life activities and strengthen all of your muscles to prevent injury.

Yoga - Similar to the idea of synergistic muscles, yoga forces you to be calm and focused, even in tough isometric positions. It really creates a great sense of balance and coordination, not to mention providing a great stretch! Yoga even once a week can drastically improve all other areas of your fitness.

Quote of the day:
"Character is the result of two things: mental attitude and the way we spend our time."
~ Elbert Green Hubbard

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 67 - Work Around An Injury

For us active folks, injuries happen. You can take steps to try and reduce your risk of injury, but chances are, you are going to run into some sort of injury at some point in your life, especially the more active you are. Injuries can occur due to negligence or just out of bad luck. The poor fella in the picture above is obviously having a stroke of bad luck...

Hopefully you can be fit and healthy enough that you can bounce back from an injury rather quickly, but they can definitely still happen. At this point, while reading this blog, you may even disagree with me, but consider the fact that Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a type of injury as well!

Rather than just giving up and allowing the injury to win by not doing a workout at all, fight back and work around your injury. Did you pull a muscle in your shoulder? Work your legs by doing a complete legs routine or cardio machine. Hurt your leg while on a run yesterday? Do some upper body strength training or upper body cardio. Just be careful to choose activities that will not exacerbate your problem.

The benefits to staying active include the fact that an increased blood flow will help with the rehabilitation process. Also, if you are as 'addicted' to staying fit as I, and many of you are, staying active will keep your mind from thinking your are just giving in.

Quote of the day:

"Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil."

~ J. Paul Getty