Lately I have been working with some clients who have/had some minor knee, shoulder or back injuries (including myself) so I thought I would share this post with you from Tara at CrosSFit North Shore. I want to assure you that the Coaches are here for you for anything that you need. Talk to your Coach before any of those minor tweaks become injuries that prevent you from training. On a weekly basis we receive emails, telephone calls, texts or have conversations with members about nagging injuries, aches and pains or just plain soreness. Clearly these are all signs that something needs to be addressed and you need to have a conversation with your coach to come up with a plan moving forward. The most common mistakes that an athlete can make are to continue to try and do the workouts as prescribed or they just don't show up to class. Communication is key in any training. It doesn't matter what your goals are, what sport you play, or how developed you are as an athlete. You need to speak to your coach on a weekly basis and even more frequently if you are having any physical issues, training for a specific event or just need the emotional support. I continue to work with several members on a daily, weekly or monthly basis on programming modified workouts based on their individual needs. Sometimes, yes, you need to rest. But taking months off to let your body "heal" will only set you back and will cause the same or other issues when you do decide to return. Complete inactivity for an extended period of time is excessive and contradicts the recovery process. It will only further de-condition you while predisposing you to disease. Rather, modify and change your activity instead of stopping altogether. So why modify a workout? There are many reasons why to adjust a workout to your individual needs. This is all dependent on your current injury, past injury, or physical limitations. For instance, what if you are unable to jump rope due to a knee strain? Or you haven't been able to raise your left arm up since you were six because you fell off the monkey bars? Two completely different injuries, but both requiring you to go hide in the bathroom until the class is done jumping rope, just not show up, or talk to your coach about modifying the workout. Okay, so now you're listening.. How do you modify a workout? This is when you have a coach step in and come up with a program based on your individual needs. What if Sally had shoulder surgery, now is in recovery mode, is able to do something, but still not ready to use that arm? First off, the Coach will have had constant communication with Sally while she's been in the recovery process before she makes her big return. When Sally is ready we set up a time for Sally to come in for a one on one meeting. This is where we talk about the doctor's list of limitations and what she's doing in physical therapy right now. Then we set Sally up with leg-focused workouts first and ease into single arm work. The key is to slowly re-enter adding exercises back in avoiding the injured area until it is ready for action. When the arm is able to handle some movement, we will add in bodyweight or band assisted exercises. Slow progressions and baby steps are better than no activity or taking ten steps back. Will everyone be watching you or think you're cheating because you're not doing the same thing? Of course not! We have all been there at one point or another. If anything, the community will embrace your return and give you some words of reassurance about the injury they just recovered from last month. Okay, so that is when you're injured. What about when you are so sore you can barely pick your arms up to reach your mouth with utensils, and you have to just lay your head in your dish to eat? Or you just can't seem to walk up and down stairs because you decided to be a hero and get a 29 on Tabata squats three days ago, so now you need to sit and scoot down each step? Rest is good. But after three days, you need to return, sore or not. Talk to your coach before you get to class, shoot them an email and let them know what's going on with you. They will give you alternative workload, give you some recovery tools or have you cut the reps to ensure you do not overdo it again. What about when you have completely fallen off the bandwagon? You're still in holiday mode. You're diet has consisted of pizza, beer and kids leftovers on their plates? You haven't been to the gym in months because at this point, you're embarrassed about the fact that you can't seem to remember the difference between a deadlift and a sit up. And you've been wearing slip on shoes because it takes too much effort to bend over to tie your shoes. It's time to contact your coach. Who no doubt has been trying to get a hold of you to get you back in, but you've been dodging them because you are so afraid of experiencing the soreness of re-entry. Relax, take a breath, and pick up the phone or blast out an email to a coach. Let them know you're scared to death of feeling that first week back soreness, but you know its time you return. They will assist you in finding a way to manage the workouts without over-doing it. Also, will be able to assist you in making it part of your routine again.