Will modified exercises work for you? We asked MYX trainers Shaun and Dyan to share practical ways to keep moving while you heal.
Should you exercise if you’re injured?
It all depends on how serious your injury is. If you’re under a doctor’s care, Shaun reminds us to get 100% clear on your doctor’s instructions.
But what if that old sports injury is acting up? Should you “baby” the affected side as you work out?
The answer is a resounding “No.” Babying one side can lead to injuring the opposite side, causing new problems. Instead, refocus your training on a different group of muscles.
If your lower body is affected, train your upper body. If your upper body is affected, you can still ride your MYX bike — gently. Exercising different muscles increases blood flow to other areas, which aids recovery. Creating movement and engaging your muscles helps all areas of your body, even the parts you aren’t working. All this leads to feeling better faster.
What about modified exercises?
Modified exercise is basically a variation of a movement adjusted to your body's level of fitness or ability. Think of it as tailoring your workout specifically to your fitness level. Even if you aren’t injured, don’t be shy about using modified exercises to get stronger and more flexible. The saying “no pain, no gain” is a myth. If something hurts, it may be a red flag. Consider adopting a modified version of the movement. Sometimes the most experienced athletes begin with modified planks, modified squats.
Does stretching help the recovery process?
Both Shaun and Dyan say that while there are different types of stretching, it’s active stretching that increases blood flow, leads to increased range of motion, relaxes your central nervous system, and, as a bonus, calms your mind, relieving stress. All of these benefits aid in healing and recovery.
The best thing about modified exercise is the choices you have during a time you may be feeling frustrated and not yourself. Whether you opt to train the “other half” of your body or customize your workout with modifications, the good news is an injury or a surgery doesn’t always mean a full stop. In fact, each time you choose to work out, no matter how gently, you’re making progress.