So, you’ve had an injury, surgery, or you decided to finally address a long term pain. You’ve completed your prescribed physical therapy, and now you’re ready to get back into action. What should you do next?
Your physical therapist will likely tell you that resistance training is a great way to continue healing and regaining strength. But returning to regular training after an injury can be daunting, even for experienced athletes. And for those who did not previously exercise, trying to start a strength program can be absolutely terrifying.
One of the best investments you can make in your continued recovery is to hire a qualified personal trainer. A personal trainer will help you maximize the benefits of strength training while avoiding reinjury. In time, you will be back to full activity and stronger than ever!
Rebuild muscle and strength
The most important function of strength training after physical therapy is rebuilding muscle and strength lost due to injury or disuse. It can be tempting to go all-in right away, only to find that you went too hard too fast. If you want to make the most gains quickly and safely, hiring a personal trainer can get you there.
While you can always find a program online, a personal trainer can create a progressive, adaptable program that is specifically tailored to your needs. They will have researched your diagnosis so they can provide the best care, and they may even communicate directly with your physical therapist for guidance on your case, with your permission of course.
Without treating you like a delicate flower, your trainer will work with you to address your specific weaknesses and build overall strength through progressive overload. Your trainer will be able to determine the appropriate volume that truly challenges you without causing reinjury. A good program should also be adaptive - human bodies are not all the same, and your trainer will be able to adjust the program to address your changing needs as they arise.
Reduce the risk of injury
In addition to building muscle, studies repeatedly show that strength training is highly effective in reducing the risk of injury. A personal trainer can help you not only avoid reinjury, but get your body stronger than ever to prevent injury in the future. Again, the program and the quality of execution are the keys to continued success. A personal trainer will help you push your limits while staying safe and avoiding further injury. They will teach you proper form and will watch you carefully to ensure the quality of your movement. By giving you verbal and hands-on cues, your trainer will help you get the most out of every rep.
Incorporate PT into full-body improvement
Because physical therapy is typically used to treat a specific injury, your sessions will likely be focused on a particular muscle group. When you are ready to return to training, you will want to integrate the improved movement patterns and skills learned in physical therapy into a whole body program. Right away, your personal trainer can help you build warm-up routines using the drills you learned in physical therapy. This will help you continue your healing and bulletproof your body against recurring injuries. Your trainer will also help you progress these movements and incorporate their principles in your bigger compound lifts.
After returning to full-body training, you will probably notice that your increased mobility and quality of movement improves your other lifts. At the same time, you might find that one correction exposes other weak links in the chain. A personal trainer can help you recognize this and improve your movement patterns through increased strength and mobility. And a great trainer will know when to refer you back to physical therapy if something comes up outside their scope.
Invest in yourself
When you’re ready to hit the ground running, investing in a qualified personal trainer is an excellent way to maximize your results. With a quality program and excellent execution, you will be stronger and more confident in the gym than ever.
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Lauersen JB, Andersen TE, Andersen LB. Strength training as superior, dose-dependent and safe prevention of acute and overuse sports injuries: A systematic review, qualitative analysis and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2018;52(24):1557-1563. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2018-099078