Getting back on Track after a Pause/Injury

You just had a longer Pause from Training and want to get back into it? Here are 7 Tips, that I always follow, when I get back into Training!

 

Tip 1: Ask yourself why you paused/stopped.

Was it because injury? You didn’t enjoy training anymore? Life just happened?
After you reflected on this question, make sure to structure your physical practice so it will be enjoyable for longer, minimize risk for Injury and let room for life – allow your structure to be loose from time to time.

 

Tip 2: Start slow.

An obvious one, but still: too many people just throw theirselves in there after not having been doing anything. This often results in injury, overuse or simply too much stress for the body.
Starting slow could mean anything from reducing the volume (reps, sets, days per week), the intensity (max heart rate, weight, speed) or even the focus of your session. Instead of going straight back to your normal elements – whichever they are – start with super simple exercises so your body has time to adapt to physical activity.
Of course, if you have been training for a long time, the initial adaptation phase will get shorter and you’ll find it easier to get back on track. But also if you are very advanced: take it slow.

 

Tip 3: MINIMIZE

When starting out training/physical activity again, try to minimize your training at first.
That means, instead of fallowing a super long and varied training schedule, reduce your program to the bare minimum: less exercises, less equipment, reduced sets/reps, fewer complicated exercises.
While I would normally advise you to play with many different moves and vary your training quite a bit, I think there is huge value in having a reduced schedule for the sake of simplicity.
After not training for a long time, your body simply needs time to adapt, therefore don’t bombardize it with too many stimuli. On the other hand, you also have to adapt to making training a habit again. Too much variables make it very hard to build habits in the first place. Therefore reduce your Training, make it easier and minimize at first.

 

Tip 4: CONSISTENCY IS KEY

Over time, when you are being consistent with something it will turn into a habit. Brushing teeth won’t have any effects if you just do it once. Only when you consistently brush your teeth it is actually long lasting and helpful. Also, what at first might me a pain in the ass (the first cold showers you take) will turn out being just normal or even super fun. The power of habits it is.
So if you’re restarting your training, make sure to take little actions each and every day. Whatever it is, even just some push-ups, do it, build habits and work consistently. On the other hand, don’t Stress out when you need to skip a session, no worries at all. One burger won’t make you fat, one salad won’t make you healthy.

 

Tip 5: Surround yourself with people that are on the same road as you.

Training alone certainly has some benefits. You are very independent, can train whenever you like and need to build more discipline in order to push when it’s not fun anymore.
On the other hand, if you train/move/play with a buddy you both can have an eye on each other, detect when it’s time to rest or push when it’s needed.
It’s no secret that your performance will go way up when you’re training with company. More so, when you train with someone who is on the same road as you are with a similar level. Or even better: surround yourself with people that are better than you – they will pull you to other spheres. But then also surround yourself with people whom you can help and show the way, much to learn here, too.

 

Tip 6: Set yourself realistic goals

Setting realistic goals will help you to track your progress, see whether your training gave you the results you wanted and help motivate you.
First, set short term goals like „achieving a 60 second hang in 2 weeks“. This goal can easily be tackled – it’s clear and there is a specific task. Short term goals will be the stepping stones toward your big goal.
Medium term goals like „Super slow negative pull-up in one month from now“ will basically be – like short term goals stepping stones that will track your progress and show you where you are and how fare you’ve come until now. Also, depending if you reach your short and midterm goals, setting new long term goals may or may not make sense.
Long term goals like „3 pull-ups by end of March“ should be set realistically, very specific and time dependent.

 

Tip 7: ASK FOR HELP / GUIDANCE

If you are looking for guidance after a longer pause, simply ask a coach7teacher that you resonate with. Different coaches work in different ways, surely there is no right or wrong, so choose one who you intuitively trust.

Here are a few exercises which I like to use when getting back on track. The moves aim to mobilize and strengthen the body in great and diverse ranges.

Exercise 1: ONE ARM TABLE LSIT COMBO

 

I really like this exercise for many reasons. First, it is a really nice shoulder stabilization movement, posterior chain engager and compression exercise. Second, it is a very nice preparation exercise for many dynamic movements in the acrobatics/gymnastics/dance world.
Depending on your level of mobility you can twist into a full back bridge or just reach as far back as possible.

Exercise 2: COSSACK SQUAT LUNGE COMBO

 

Talking lower body, this one is a multi talent. When working with the cossack squat, hip mobility, especially adductor flexibility and ankle range of motion will benefit quite a bit. When rotating into the deep lunge, your anterior hip (psoas and quad) as well as glutes and hamstrings on the other side will need to lengthen over time. If you load this exercise, you can gain serious legstrength in multiple planes of motion. Perfect for any kind of acro, martial arts, parkour, dance or athletic practice.

Exercise 3: SCAPULA PULL-UPS

 

I really like this exercise for many reasons. First, it is a really nice shoulder stabilization movement, warm up for any shoulder training and an absolute strength builder for any kind of pulling strength.
There is room for many variations with this movement: using only one arm, pulling up only in frontal plane, leaning back, twist into it, etc.

At first you might feel that your range is limited, but soon it will increase. With this also your ability to pull will start to increase, all pulling movements will feel easier and more coordinated.

Exercise 4: PISTOL SQUAT SCALE COMBINATION

 

Lower body strength, stability, mobility and coordination – all in this one.
The pistol or fisherman’s squat are very nice to work actively on ankle mobility and will develop your quads and glutes (extensor chain) which will help you build strength in explosive movements.
The scale will develop your hamstring muscles and all these little hip stabilizers.

If you want to work on unstable knees/hips/ankles this one is for you! Give it some slow and controlled reps and gain stability.

Exercise 5: Squat with unilateral press and mill

 

Lower body strength, stability, mobility and coordination – all in this one.
Also, because of raising one arm overhead you’ll work on thoracic extension and rotation. Hello overhead mobility.
Start with a small weight and work your way up from here.
If it seems to hard, simply drop one knee to the floor and keep going like this! If you’re looking for one exercise to integrate in your day, it’s this one!

If you want to work on unstable knees/hips/ankles this one is for you! Give it some slow and controlled reps and gain stability.

Softness vs. Hardness – Polarities

Polarities exist not only in nature (day-night, silence-noise, high tide-low tide) but are prominent in our own personal behavior (team player-lonely wolf, introvert-extrovert, happiness-sadness) or in our daily lives (wake-sleep, work-rest, standing still-running).

 

While in nature polarities will take turns automatically and we perceive this as „normal“ we (I included) often limit ourselves to only act out or focus on only one side of the equation. As I transport my messages on a movement level on this channel I will do do now as well. Please notice that this concept is potentially fitting to many other areas of your personal live as well. When working out, some like to focus on strength – while neglecting flexibility. Others like getting bendy without working on strength and stability.

 

It is absolutely fine to enjoy one side a bit more, the body benefits greatly from working on both ends though. While we perceive strength and flexibility as separate and polar, they will form a unity in the end, when we actually work on both.

 

And that’s the thing in my opinion: First of, you can’t really separate both sides from each other in the long run. Only work out and your body will crash. Secondly, separating both and only working in one direction will only bring you this far. Both sides actually support each other.

 

By working on flexibility you create a base for strengthening your structures in an adequate way (talking full ROM here) – by strengthening your structures in this range you will create a stable joint. The circle continues!

 

I can only recommend to reflect about this for a bit. Where do you work on only one side of the equation? On purpose? Is it beneficial for you right now?

At the moment (2018) I have put my focus on two directions of movement:

 

– Bouldering and everything that goes with it (strength, power, hardness)

– acrobatic ground movements (cutting, loosening, flow, relaxation).

 

I believe that a movement practice should have an „all-out“ character on one side, and a „relaxation“ character on the other.

 

Full throttle all day at work, then into sport and continuing all-out in Crossfit, bouldering, Freeletics, martial arts etc. – there is a lack of relaxation. My own experience is that Crossfit 5 times a week for 3-4 years is simply quite a lot and exhausting. You can do it for a while, but at some point it becomes too much (at least for me). It’s not for nothing that most of the elite athletes do a compensatory sport like yoga, tai chi or go to the sauna, a massage or a physiotherapist.

 

If you want to step on the gas, you have to be able to switch back.

Since I’m currently bouldering 3 times a week, working a lot on specific strength and hardness, which puts a lot of strain on my muscles and joints, I NEED a balance. Something that lets my body relax again, loosens my muscles, mobilises my joints and calms me down mentally.

My acrobatics practice fits very well here at the moment: lots of rolling movements that massage the muscles, loosening up, creative movements – completely according to feeling and no thoughts of performance.

 

I notice that bouldering makes me „rigid“, acrobatics compensates for that here. Add to that sauna once a week and work with acupressure mats etc. and the body feels much more balanced.

 

Does this mean you should integrate acrobatic movements into your training? YES: of course you can. Correctly dosed and guided, they may very well be a super balance, but they don’t have to be!

 

Whether you go to yoga, press the sauna bench, let yourself pass through, swim slow lanes, etc., you can do it. – The main thing is to find a balance for the STRENGTH and HARDNESS!