Safe Return to the Gym

With the latest Government restrictions being lifted the world is appearing to return back to ‘normal’! We’ve all remained wary of mixing with too many people, but at the same time longed to get back to our usual routines especially our exercise ones.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to reduce your chances of picking up an injury on your return.

Don’t jump straight back into your pre-pandemic gym routine 

Unless, you’ve been regularly lifting weights throughout the pandemic, it’s unlikely you’ll be at the same level you were at previously. It can be tempting to jump straight back into your old gym routine, but this could potentially increase your risk of picking up an injury. 

Be kind to your body. Your goal should be to get back to your pre-pandemic strength level within 3-6 weeks, not straight away. Don’t be disheartened if your strength levels are reduced, with regular training they’ll be back up in no time!

Focus on technique

You probably haven’t performed a lot of your usual gym routine movements for a while. For more challenging movements like squats and lunges, etc. use the first few sessions back to relearn the technique again.

Reduce the frequency to begin with

Reduce the number of times your train per week. After a few months away from the gym, you can be sure that there’ll initially be high levels of post-exercise muscle soreness. To avoid excessive muscle soreness and to ensure our body can fully recover, reduce the number of days per week that you train, gradually increasing this over the first 3-6 weeks back. 

Place more emphasis on training recovery

Weight bearing exercises are likely a stimulus your body hasn’t been exposed to in a while, so it will need all the help it can with recovery. 

When it comes to recovery, things like foam rolling and stretching have their place, but where you should really be focusing is on getting a good 8 hours of sleep per night and getting sufficient protein and overall calories in your diet. 

Please don’t forget to warm-up

The RAMP warm-up was developed by Ian Jeffreys, it has proven to be the most effective
warm-up for athletes and is used by many elite coaches around the world.

The RAMP warm-up is the most scientifically proven warm-up to prepare your body for competition. The acronym ‘RAMP’ stands for:

  • Raise – Increase muscle temperature, core temperature, blood flow, muscle elasticity and neural activation. – Treadmill/ Bike
  • Activate – Engage the muscles in preparation for the upcoming session. – Lunges/Push-ups
  • Mobilize – Focus on movement patterns which will be used during the game.
  • Potentiate – Gradually increasing the stress on the body in preparation for the upcoming competition/session.

In Summary: 
Don’t jump straight back into your pre-pandemic gym routine. 

Focus on technique rather than weight on the bar. 

Reduce your training frequency for your first few weeks back in the gym 

Place more emphasis on training recovery. 

Don’t forget to warm-up. 

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