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Tips for Returning to Exercise

As gyms around the area are beginning to open, you may be starting to get into your pre-isolation gym routine. For some there is no hesitation to get going again, however for others this may seem like a daunting process. Implementing these tips into your program can make going from point A to B a more achievable process.

Before isolation, many of us where working on our own fitness journys and goals. Whether you kept this program up at your home gym or are starting from scratch again, taking a few minutes to reassess your goals can help get you back on track. Don’t be afraid to go back to your SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time) goals and cater them for your needs now. Try and not let the thought of back tracking throughout this period impair your expectations of where you could have been, and start to think about where you are going now. A movement assessment prior to beginning your program is a great tip to get to know how your body is moving and can also help when setting your SMART goals. A mobility assessment might include a squat check to find out your depth of squat without letting your knees collapse in. Try loading a decreased range of motion squat whilst working on mobility exercises separately to then fuse the two training focuses together later.

When looking at programming and goal setting a tip is to consider the total volume of a workout (sets x reps x weight). For example, if your previous total volume for a squat was 3 sets of 8 reps at 100Kg = 2,400, then find a way to reduce this number. That can be done by altering the sets, reps or weight of the exercise. Take this time to focus back on your technique and movement patterns using a lighter weight, to then build the stress and load back up safely.

A tip for getting back into lifting weights it to consider the different types of weights available and the purposes they have. Reducing the weight and focusing on technique can be assisted with choosing the right type of weight. Pin loaded machines over free weights and both limbs over single limb work may be some switches to ease yourself back into weights. Kettlebells are made to throw you off balance so switching to dumbbells can help you focus on form, whilst barbell front squats may be replaced with goblet squats to reduce the level of intensity and skill required.

Prepping your body to move safely and effectively before and after your workout will benefit how your body moves in day to day life as well. Taking the time to adequately warm up and cool down your body can help prevent injury and increase performance. Focus your warm up and mobility drills to be as aligned with the movements in your program as possible to develop these benefits. Some helpful activation exercises we like to use with our clients include crab walks, dead bugs and pallof press.

Most importantly, just be kind to your body. Set realistic goals, ease yourself into training and focus on wellness and recovery so your body will be back to moving the best it can in no time.