I’ve made it through 9 weeks without facing any real problems – a near cold and some tiredness, but I’ve pushed through it all and not let it overcome me.
Week 10 has come around and now I’m faced with an injury. The most annoying part of it? I don’t know how I did it and it’s almost impossible to stretch out. The past few days I’ve had a twinge at the top of my leg/groin that is now causing pain to lift my leg.
This morning, 6am, I was up for the gym (which is an achievement in itself, just getting out of bed at that time), to complete week 10 abs resistance training. Who knew my leg could cause me so much pain in an ab session!!! I eventually gave in half way through and hobbled out of the gym absolutely fuming.
I’ve suffered with quite severe shin splints before and so I’ve learnt through trial and error how I personally, should deal with injuries.
- Stretching – Usually when I pull a muscle or have an injury, stretching is a dream. Stretching releases tension in the muscles by contracting the muscle and relaxing it again. Stretching immediately after exercise is always so important. If you leave your muscles un-stretched, the lactic acid tightens the muscles leaving them sore and tight.
- Tiger Balm/Massaging – My sister went to Thailand around Christmas time and brought me back some Tiger Balm. This stuff is AMAZING! I used it on sore muscles and massage it into the area. After a few minutes it slightly numbs the area, cools it down and the massaging loosens any knots in my muscles.
- Foam Rolling – Since starting the BBG, I bought myself a foam roller. Foam rolling takes a lot of guts because when you have a sore spot – it bloody hurts!! Use the foam roller to massage the muscles with your body weight. If you hit a sore spot, stop and put pressure on it for 30 seconds and then continue to roll. This loosens tight muscles and tones the skin.
- Reduced/Modified Exercise – Sometimes, if you’ve just pulled a muscle, you can reduce or modify your exercise so it is not putting too much pressure on it or making it worse. If I have an injury or sore muscle and don’t want to make it worse, I turn to swimming or walking. The low intensity of both exercises still gives you a great workout but without the strain on your muscles and bones. Ensure you still stretch properly after exercise, particularly the sore areas.
- Rest – If I’m suffering with exceptionally sore muscles or a bad injury, there are times where you have to admit defeat and give your body a good 3+ days rest. On rest days, make sure you continue to stretch and ensure the area is fully repaired before heading back to exercise. Some injuries such as shin splints need complete rest to get rid of them or you can end up causing severe damage to bones or muscles.
The rest of week 10 I’m going to modify my exercises. I’m going to push back the rest of my resistance training and focus on swimming. If I don’t manage to complete my abs (again) and arms workouts, I may repeat week 10 next week to make sure I don’t miss out on completing the BBG properly.
Injuries are probably the most frustrating part of exercise but looking after yourself, muscles and bones is going to make you stronger in the long run.
If any one has any more tips on dealing with injuries or advice, please let me know!
Note: I am not professionally trained as a physio or personal trainer. This information is purely through trial and error experience and my own opinion.