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Written by:   Steve Whelan, 12/06/19

Training around injury - Modify, don't miss


One thing is certain when it comes to exercise and sport - Injuries happen.

I don't like it just as much as you, but thats the reality of it.

Injuries come in all levels of severity from a niggle, to a reoccurring tendinopathy, right through to a rupture, break or dislocation.  What is consistent though is the fact that injuries SUCK and can have both short and long term affects on an individuals physiological and psychological health.

Often, the initial response to injury will be either Anger/Frustration, Denial, Guilt, or a combination of all three.

These feelings are often followed by statements such as 'I'm injured AGAIN', 'Its nothing, I'm fine', 'How long am I out', 'When can I return to play?' and ultimately, trying to push the limits to much during rehab or trying to return too early and experiencing re-injury.

I see it far too often, athletes and the general exerciser not taking their rehab serious, resting too long before returning or not resting at all, and eventually being stuck with forever saying 'I have a bad knee, back, hip, ankle ect', dwelling on minor concerns, and accepting that no matter what is done, it will never get better.

​"It's not the load that breaks an individual down,

it's the load they are not prepared for" - Tim Gabbett PhD


Fortunately I am in a position where I get to work with people from all levels from junior/youth athletes, experienced athletes, the weekend warrior, general gym goer and those already performing rehab.


Without a doubt, every week I have someone ask me the question, 'Should I come to training?'


My answer?  95% of the time, YES!

Having dealt with a significant number of injuries from all ends of the spectrum both personally and professionally, I am very confident to say that in most cases (excluding very serious/traumatic injuries) training should NOT stop, but instead be modified.  

"Modify, don't miss" - Matt Wenning

When you break it right down, Athletes want to train, Lifters want to lift and Runners want to run.

Why would we tell them to rest?

As an S&C/Rehab Coach, I might be bias here (very bias), but to me, the gym is the 'safe place' during injury rehab.


A place to continue to train, move and work towards your goals.

A place to communicate with others and be apart of a social environment.

A place to relieve some of that built up frustration and feel better.

I ALWAYS encourage my injured athletes/clients to come to training despite their injury.  I want them to continue to keep moving, keep lifting, get stronger, fitter and feel better - that is my goal.

Obviously there are exceptions.  Certain injuries require complete rest, but the vast majority do not.

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