Initiate panic mode!!!!!!
How are you supposed to stay fit with an injury?! You didn’t sign up for this!! How are you supposed to get your swole on?!
Well, I’m here to ease your fears and give you some guidance as to how to stay fit with an injury! I was able to do it for more than a year. So, have faith! You too can do it!
But firstly, can we just talk about this crazy weather is for a minute?! Guys, I’m literally sitting here in a big fuzzy sweater, leggings, and slipper socks right now. Like really San Francisco??? It is August you know!!
I honestly just made the slipper sock thing up. Do those even exist? If they do, please direct me to their website STAT. I am ALL ABOUT fuzzy slipper socks.
Ok, literally just looked up fuzzy slipper socks on Amazon and they’re a thing!! I would 100% rock these bad boys in a second…
But like, why do they have to be Christmas socks?? I’m about to put these on my feet right now!! If there’s any kind of self-care that makes me smile from the inside out, it is most definitely fuzzy slipper socks.
Anyways, I know you’re here for the post about how to stay fit with an injury and not fuzzy slipper socks.
It’s cool. I understand…
You’ve come to the right place if you’re wondering how to stick with your fitness routine and how to stay fit with an injury. I did it for about 16 months!
It was so damn frustrating I can’t even tell you! But, I still showed up on my usual workout days and got ‘er done. I’m all about that fit life!
Now, I’m not here to tell you how to get your swole on with a broken leg or a serious illness guys. And I am by no means qualified to give professional advice on how to stay fit with an injury. I’m here to tell you how I did it in hopes that my story can give you some insight on how to stay fit with an injury.
Here’s my story…
A year ago in April, I was doing some heavy deadlifts at CrossFit. I took a month off prior to that in an attempt to not drown during a crazy rotation in veterinary school. Definitely should not have been PR chasing. AT ALL!
Being the stubborn NYer that I am, I wanted to prove I didn’t lose anything after taking a month off. Well, I hit my previous PR at 285lbs, but it certainly cost me.
But First, We Rant…
Now before you CrossFit haters reading this go off on a ‘CrossFit is dangerous of course you got injured’ tangent, keep reading. I’ll save my bigger rant about this for another blog post, but here’s a concept for you to ruminate on…
At the time of my injury, I had been doing CrossFit for 4 years and stayed injury free for those 4 years. I was able to do this because of good coaching, CrossFitting smart by leaving my ego at the door and knowing my own abilities.
Backtrack 15 years to when I was in my 4th year of playing field hockey. I tripped over a blade of grass, broke my leg and tore my meniscus. In front of the entire football and soccer team having lunch, nonetheless!
But you know what? No one ever said to me, ‘field hockey is dangerous of course you got injured’.
I witnessed some pretty nasty injuries during those 4 years of field hockey. I have yet to witness a nasty injury during 4 years of CrossFit.
My point here is that every sport is dangerous. Some more than others. The difference is knowing your abilities, playing it smart and leaving your ego at the door.
Anyways, back to the story about my injury…
After the heavy deadlifts, I woke up the next morning with a very light pulling sensation in my left glute. Didn’t think too much of it and decided to just stretch it out.
Welp, it ended up getting worse the more I stretched it!
I continued to do the normal workouts at CrossFit, really not thinking anything of this little pulling sensation. And unfortunately, the pain continued to get worse. I then found myself at urgent care because I was so painful.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, all that came out of that urgent care visit were some muscle relaxers and a ‘don’t do CrossFit schpeal’. No answers as to why I was painful or where it was coming from.
SOME GREAT WESTERN MEDICINE RIGHT THERE.
After doing some research based on my symptoms, I pinned it down to a piriformis injury. I ended up going to my primary care physician and asked for a physical therapy referral. It just wasn’t getting better after three months!
My physical therapist asked a lot of questions and had me doing exercises to figure out what my injury was. I was right. I injured my piriformis.
Physical therapy went on for about 2 months. But, once my piriformis was healed with physical therapy, modifying and scaling workouts, a new injury popped up. I was starting to have some pain in my left iliosacral joint.
A real pain in the ass! Pun intended…
Anyways, I made it through 11 months of a piriformis injury and 3-4 months of an iliosacral injury. I did this by scaling and modifying my workouts based on how the movements felt. If a movement was painful, I’d scale it down or totally substitute it for something else.
Doing this allowed me to stick with my workout routine and nurse my injury at the same time.
Unfortunately, squats were a no go for a good 5 months.
UGHHHHH. NOT THE BOOTY GAINZ.
Whenever squats came up in the workout, I asked my coaches what I could do to substitute that movement. I was able to do lunges and split squats most of the time, so those were my go to.
Other movements like box jumps and running were too much impact for me. So, I substituted and did step ups and the assault bike, respectively.
Additionally, I invested in some at home equipment as well. Yoga blocks, straps, resistance bands, theracane, foam rollers, etc. that allowed me more at home stretching and mobility options. Check them out below!
And if you’re looking for a great mobility resource, check out my main squeeze’s article “Always be Mobilizing – A How to Guide on Staying Limber Throughout your Day“!
Little changes for every workout, mobilizing and stretching allowed me to stay fit with an injury, but also recover and nurse that injury.
Would it have healed faster if I took a few months off and totally rested it? Sure. But sitting on my butt doing nothing physically active was not going to be any better for my overall health.
Ya feel me?
THIS PAGE MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.