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Injury Presents Opportunity

Updated: Jul 1, 2022

It sucks when it does, but as a hard charging individual, its an inevitability.

What isn't inevitable is our attitude to Injury.

How we behave while injured

How we cope

The Injury may be out of your control but your attitude is always 100% within your control.

I've had my own flare up in injuries these last few weeks.

My elbow, an area I've not had issues with in the past has been causing me grief, it is, I'm in no doubt related to the shoulder injuries I carry.

And it's likely a response to a sudden incline in training volume as I intended to take part in a Kettlebell Sport event, which unfortunately got cancelled last minute.

As the competition is cancelled, it's time to return to my regular training. Except the elbow isn't allowing my main lifting, namely the deadlift and military press.

This is where attitude comes in, and the lesson I'm trying to get across in this blog post.

I can't train how I want to train, my pain and Injury is preventing it.

So do I:

  1. Stop training altogether for a time?

  2. Sulk

  3. Try to train regardless

  4. Take the opportunity to review training and do things I haven't been doing

Of course it's number 4

Injury presents opportunity

Your options become limited as certain movements are taken off the table.

This is great, because what's left on the table are very likely the movements or attributes that you've been avoiding, putting off or simply not doing.

It's likely the stuff you enjoy less or are less good at.

These are your training scars.

And this is your opportunity to work into them.

For a heavy lifting strength athlete, it could be mobility or aerobic fitness

For an endurance athlete it could be a strength discrepancy

In my case, I've not been working the squat recently, or anterior core.

I've been Deadlifting and kettlebell training for a good while, my squat hasn't been a priority.

How can I squat without the arms?

I can use the "zombie" front squat, I can do single leg Squats and any number of Lunge variations.

This is Zombie Front Squat:

Front squats are basically standing ab training, so this ticks a lot of boxes for me. I've done high frequency squat training in the past, so this could be fun for a while.

If I then do my rehab work in the rest periods, I'll likely see a huge leap forward in my abilities.

Which is what we are training for. If we train because we enjoy particular exercises and only want to do those exercises, we can run into trouble very easily.

If we train with the intention of improving our attributes using whatever means necessary, then we can always find a way to train, a way to make forward progress.

There are many way to adjust training around injuries.

Sometimes we're best starting with an assessment, especially if it's serious or a recurring issue.

For acute injuries, such as impact injuries, we can simply figure out what exercises we can do that don't annoy the injury.

What we don't do though is sit around feeling sorry for ourselves.

We find a way.

There is always a way.


Dave Hedges

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