The 3 Things You Need to Know When Getting Back to the Gym

As we have entered a new phase here in North Carolina, gyms are opening back up, and we have had a lot of clients here at LeBauer Physical Therapy who have questions about how to get back into the gym, as well as new clients with new aches and pains from getting back into the gym. Today, I am going to share with you the 3 things that you need to know to get back into the gym without pain or injury!

A lot of you were so excited to get back into the gym, that once you got there, you either gave it everything you had, or tried to do exactly what you were doing before quarantine, and felt it the next day.

Quality > Quantity

When you first get back to the gym, you might be tempted to feel strong and fast again, and lift the same weights you used to be lifting, or keep up with your old metcon times. Even though your body is likely still as strong as it used to be, it will not be used to lifting weights and high intensity workouts, and will need time to adjust. This is why it is important to check your ego, and lift a little lighter the first couple times back at the gym, and gradually return to where you were before quarantine by listening to your body.

Listen to your body

A lot of the people I have talked with recently asked me about the difference between pain and soreness. What is the difference? Soreness is normal when you try something new at the gym, or are getting back into the gym after time off. You should not be sore after each workout, and soreness will not tell you whether or not you had a good workout. Soreness usually happens between 24-48 hours after a workout, and shouldn’t linger for more than 48 hours.

Pain and prolonged soreness are signals from your body that you are doing too much too soon, or that you are not moving well. It doesn’t always mean that you have an injury or permanently damaged something. You might lack mobility or stability somewhere, let’s use your hip for example, and you might feel pain in your hip. Or, you might feel it elsewhere, like in your knee or low back, because they are doing extra work to compensate for your hip. We see this all of the time in the clinic.

A lot of the CrossFit athletes that we see have experienced knee pain with squatting and running, and would not go to class when those movements were in the workout, or would have to substitute them. This prevented them from reaching their goal of doing all workouts as they were written. We helped them work on their hip stability, and they are back to squatting AND running pain free, and are doing all workouts as written, and becoming more competitive.

If you are having soreness, tightness, or pain, don’t ignore your body telling you that something isn’t quite right. Don’t guess, get assessed! If your car’s check engine light came on, would you just guess and try random fixes yourself, and keep driving it? No, of course not! The same thing is true for your body. You need a Total Body Diagnostic to tell where the problem is, and what to do about it, that way you can get back to crushing your goals without pain and fear of injury. If this sounds like you, apply for one of our Free Total Body Diagnostics on our website, or give us a call at 336-271-6677 to apply.

Take care of your body

Many of us have been slacking on our recovery during quarantine. Stress levels are at an all time high, and even though working out is good stress, your body still treats it as stress. This is why it is important to manage that stress well by improving your recovery. This includes: getting enough sleep, fueling your body with healthy food, eating enough, drinking enough water, and moving regularly. Movement is medicine! Not only does it help prevent disease, but it also makes your body stronger, so that you can prevent injury, and aches and pains like arthritis.

If you want to live a healthier lifestyle but are having trouble reaching your health goals, click on the Health Coaching tab to see how we can help you reach your wellness goals!

Keep these 3 things in mind as you return to the gym, and remember to Just Keep Moving!

To Your Health,

The LeBauer Physical Therapy & Wellness Team

About The Author

Dr. Kaitlin Herzog

Dr. Herzog attended the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. She went on to earn her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Wheeling Jesuit University. Kaitlin has been an athlete for most of her life and was introduced to physical therapy when she had several sports-related injuries. She decided to become a physical therapist to help others maintain an active lifestyle while staying pain free. Kaitlin uses a hands-on approach to help people of all backgrounds optimize their movement and performance. Dr. Herzog is a record-holding competitive powerlifter, and you can find her training or competing in her spare time. She also enjoys Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, yoga, sports, hiking, baking, crafts, traveling, and exploring Greensboro with friends.​

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