Gyms have recently opened up in Toronto! Many people in Toronto are eager to go back to the gym after nearly a year and a half of being closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Learn how to save your back now that gyms are open!
Already at our downtown Toronto Chiropractic clinic we have had several patients come to see us after hurting their back after returning to the gym to workout. Luckily, those people were smart and called us quickly so they could get their chiropractic adjustment! You should always get checked right away before any gym related injuries are allowed to heal poorly!
I am going to share with you a few tips that I hope will help you to reduce your chance of an injury! I am also going to share what to do if you do actually end up hurting yourself at the gym!
Tip #1: Check yourself before you wreck yourself! (aka leave your ego at the door)
It’s been almost a year and a half since gyms have been consistently open and this means your muscles have atrophied and your cardiovascular system is not what it was before COVID started! Muscles begin to atrophy by 4 weeks of inactivity...so you have to rebuild! This means start over from scratch. This can seem demoralizing at first since you were in good shape before the pandemic. However, your body is not ready to exercise at those old levels and if you try to exercise like the glory days you’re going to hurt yourself.
My recommendation: start with an empty bar to relearn form and add weight from there. Start with full body workouts. As you progress - add the lowest possible increment (5lbs usually on a barbell) but only if you can complete your work sets in good form and in the desired rep range (8-12)..
This may seem like small amount and a slow way to progress. But if you started with an empty bar (45lbs) and added 5lbs every workout for 12 weeks, you would be lifting 225lbs by the end of 12 weeks!
Start small and build up big!
As for cardio, start with something light like 12-15 minutes per session. Progress no more than 10% per week in terms of time per session (ex: 15min week 1, week 2 is now 17min).
Progressing slowly will give your body time to adapt to the new workload. It will also minimize your chance of developing an injury.
Tip #2: Get your sweat on before you workout
Uhhh...sounds crazy right? But you MUST warm up before you workout. Start with light exercise. Start by walking or bodyweight squats until you just begin to break a sweat. Starting to sweat means your body is warmed up and ready for exercise! Warming up before you begin your actual workout will decrease your chance of an injury.
Tip #3: Rick Roll Yourself
Yup I went there. I have found that patients who feel they are tight benefit from a quick foam rolling session before their workouts. I prefer foam rolling compared to cold static stretching which may actually increase your chance of an injury if you do it before a workout!
Tip #4: Cool down and stretch
I never end a workout before I have stretched out completely. This is a must for everyone. I personally stretch after my workout and if time permits I follow the stretching routine with a 20 minute power Yoga session.
Tip #5 Call us
No matter how well you follow the previous advice, you can still hurt or injure yourself. Injuries can still happen to the best of us! Chiropractors are amazing at speeding your recovery and getting you back from an injury. We are located in downtown Toronto and offering excellent Chiropractic Care and Registered Massage Therapy.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more, feel free to send me an email or give us a call and I will gladly answer everything. If you have hurt yourself contact us ASAP! The sooner we can deal with your back pain, the better your recovery!