I was working on progressions for doing a front lever exercise (basically hanging under a bar with arms straight and your body in a straight line parallel to the ground) and managed to strain my left upper quad/hip flexors.
I was really frustrated with this as I was making such good progress. I then asked myself the question, "What do I do now?"
I assume this a question that a lot of people ask themselves when they get injured, especially when they are just starting out on a fitness journey. In this post I wanted to answer this question, so here are my thoughts on it.
Don't give up & stay positive
This is the most important answer. Think of an injury as a bump in the road, not a dead end. Work through the injury then continue on with your journey. The worse thing you can do is just give up. Staying positive is also really important. If you don't look on the positive side, you are more likely to just give up.
Get it checked out
This one is obvious, but also important. Make sure you get your injury looked at by a health professional. They can tell you the severity of the injury and whether you can continue training and what other options you have.
Making sure you know what is happening and how to deal with it will enable you to get the best and fastest results. You don't want to just ignore it and hope it will go away and possibly make it worse.
Figure out why you got injured
This may sound like a silly answer, but often people don't know what caused their injury. Hopefully when you get the injury assessed, it will help make this point clear.
If you hurt yourself doing exercises then you may need to look at your technique. Was it purely a technique issue that caused the problem? If it is, then make sure you get the right advice on technique for your particular exercise, or at least make appropriate modifications to the technique you have been using.
If you didn't hurt your yourself doing a specific exercise, there maybe another cause for the injury. Were you moving poorly? Was your bending technique not quite right? Were you not moving enough? Had there been a niggle for a while that wasn't addressed properly?
If you can figure out why you injured yourself you can go a long way to making sure it is unlikely to happen again.
Depending on what injury you have, you are most likely able to keep doing exercise. You may have to modify techniques or change your program for a few weeks, but keep on going. It is much easier to keep momentum going rather than try to get it back once you lose it.
You may have to just focus on a different area whilst the injury is healing. I have had to change the exercises I have been doing. I am staying away from exercises that aggravate the area and am just focusing on other parts until it is better and I can get back to my front lever progressions.
Do your rehab
Depending on your injury you will need to do some rehab. This may be stretching, soft tissue work, stability work etc. Often this is not very exciting, but it is necessary. I always say to people in the clinic that it is much better to take it easy for a week or so until it settles, rather than pushing through and possibly making it worse and having to have a lot longer off.
I know these points are simple, but they are important. Once you have worked through the injury and successfully negotiated the bump in the road, set your sights on your goals and go for it. Your body will thank you for it.