top of page

How To Train Around An Injury

For most athletes or really anyone who has spent any time in the gym pain an injuries are an inevitability. It can come on because you didn't warm up enough that day, you didn't get enough sleep the night before, you're stressed about something at home or at work, or you pushed yourself a little harder than you planned to. Pain from training and injuries aren't something anyone every plans on, but we have all been there before.

So, tell me if this sounds familiar. You had a particularly tough day in the gym, you go home that night and you start to feel some pain when you are trying to wash your hair, or you bent over to untie your shoes and felt your back tweak a bit. You brush it off and say "Eh, I am sure it will be fine in the morning". The pain is still there a week later and you decide that you need to go see a doctor. You go into the doctor's office and he or she looks like she has never seen the inside of a gym and doesn't know the difference between a barbell clean and spring cleaning. You tell them about what you're feeling and they say "Ok, stay out of the gym for 6 weeks and take these pills".

I gotta be honest with you, this advice drives me batshit crazy. Even sitting here writing this scenario out has my heart racing with anger.

The truth is if you're dealing with any sort of pain, the answer is NOT to stay out of the gym. Instead you need someone to help you navigate what movements are safe and what movements might need some modification.

With this in mind, you need to think about how you classify your exercises so that you can keep yourself organized, safe, and progressing.

Exercises in the gym can get broken down into 7 different categories:

1. Upper body vertical push

2. Upper body horizontal push

3. Upper body vertical pull

4. Upper body horizontal pull

5. Squat like movements

6. Hip hinge like movements

7. Other

Let me take a minute to break down each of these movements so you have a better understanding of what I mean.

Upper body vertical push

These movements are anything where you are pushing weight over your head. This can be a strict press, push press, push jerk, split jerk, handstand push ups or in CrossFit any shoulder to overhead movement you can think of. Also, although barbell and kettlebell snatches are classified as hinge like movements, you want to consider them here because of the finishing position with weight overhead.