Have you ever felt like your body just couldn’t keep up with your exercise routine? As we age, our bodies change, and it’s essential to recognize and adapt to those changes to continue progressing. This was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. You, don't have to!
After pushing my body to the breaking point multiple times, I knew I needed to find a better way to train. I was getting older, and my body was getting stiff, weak, and beat up by my archaic training methods.
However, I wasn’t ready to accept that my best years were behind me, so I teamed up with leading experts in physical therapy and strength and conditioning to explore new training methods that would help put my pain behind me and regain some performance.
What I learned surprised me. Instead of recommending rest and basic rehab exercises, they were all proponents of the same three training principles: Don’t stop training - motion is lotion for your lower back, train to promote limb symmetry and opposing muscle balance, and train to balance your strength and flexibility in each workout.
Most people have an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to injury management, thinking that working out is futile if they can’t do their regular routine.
But at Unity Gym, we have a saying, “motion is lotion,” which means you should maintain physical activity in the presence of injury because abstinence from exercise causes a loss of strength and conditioning everywhere, not just in the injury.
Instead of going for personal bests, we focus on optimizing the technique of an injured patient in the exercises that cause the most concern.
We start by training the pain-free range and progressively increase the range of motion. The principle of progressive overload is something we discuss more in this series.
Often, your diagnosis may contradict how you feel, especially after a nasty diagnosis.
But it’s important to understand that you are not your morphology. Scans may help provide useful information for your doctor or physical therapist, but they should never determine the course of action alone. Therefore, do not let your diagnosis discourage you. Only increased strength and flexibility under the right protocols will fix your back.
So, what does that look like? Well, you need to train to promote limb symmetry and opposing muscle balance, which we’ll discuss in part 2 of this series. Don't let age or injury hold you back from achieving your fitness goals.
Remember, motion is lotion, and with the right training principles, you can regain your physical capabilities and prevent further injury.