Currently, the only way of getting outside is to go shopping for essential products, or exercising. It seems that more and more people are training outside or using what they can indoors to stay fit instead of losing their fitness, this is something I am very impressed by.

But what if it goes wrong? What if you injure yourself and you’re unable to carry on keeping fit while in isolation? The purpose of this blog is to help you to stay away from injury and stay at your fighting fittest while exercising in isolation.

The 10% Rule

Running/cycling

Due to exercising in isolation, we are getting outdoors and running more and more. Running and cycling injuries are highly prevalent, with injuries occurring in as many as 85% of runners (1), and it’s been suggested that 60-70% of all running injuries are due to training errors.

These are:
  • Rapidly increased running/cycling distance
  • Poor form
  • Change in routine (2)

As someone who specialises in sports injuries, I understand the notion of all of the points above but also understanding the way the body works I can say the three types of training errors can be very damaging to the tendons, muscles and joints.

The exception to this is if you are a beginner, as beginners are far more likely to damage themselves, as their bodies haven’t acclimatised to the pressure being put on their joints. The advice we give to new runners and cyclists is to find the point of 80% of your max, then continue with the same distance for 2 weeks until your body gets used to it. Only then do we apply the 10% rule.

If this sort of injury is something that interests you, please find and read our blog on the most common running and cycling injury – tendinopathy.

Weightlifting

Similarly, weightlifters have to consider the 10% rule, which is easy enough in the gym with all the heavy equipment, but what if you go from heavy bench pressing to only being able to press your body weight? Because the strain on the tendons is higher as a result of the change in training type, it is something you have to be aware of and careful with. We recommend that for the first two weeks of bodyweight training, you should stop at 80% failure before resting. This may go against most weightlifter’s mindset, but you’ll be able to exercise more if you’re not injured.

Pay attention to the supporting muscles

Tibialis anterior

Tibialis anterior, or the medial tibial stress syndrome (otherwise known as shin splints) muscle, is a long muscle running down the front of your leg, which is the strongest muscle that pulls your foot up to your knee. A weakened tibialis anterior can also contribute to shin splints because it supports the foot arch less, which leads to medial tibial stress syndrome (3)

To exercise this muscle, please watch the following exercise video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_D_IUv-t18

Hamstrings

What we know about the hamstring muscles is that they are one of the commonly injured parts of your body (4). We also know how to prevent hamstring injuries – train them (5)! As an added bonus the hamstring muscles also stabilise the knee joints (6), which will reduce the likelihood of damaging your knee ligaments.

To exercise these muscles, please see watch the following exercise video:

Gluteus medius

The gluteus medius muscle is a prime hip stabilizer (7). This means that training it will reduce hip dysfunction and strengthening it could improve form in exercises such as squatting, running and jumping movements. The tendon on this muscle is also commonly injured if you start exercising in a way the body isn’t used to, which makes it important to retain strength in the muscle.

To exercise this muscle, please watch the following exercise video:

Rotator cuff

The shoulder is a joint that requires protection – studies show that there is an association between where the shoulder blade sits and pain or dysfunction in the shoulder (8). What is the best way to avoid shoulder pain? Shoulder stabilisation exercises.

o exercise these muscles, please watch the following exercise video:

Make sure you’re in a safe environment while training

Training from home may feel more comforting but becoming too comfortable may be hazardous. It is important to make sure there is a clear space, clean but dry floor and make sure you have appropriate footwear. Following these simple guidelines will help to keep you fit and safe while exercising in isolation.

For any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask:

0161 209 2980

info@movementandwellbeingclinic.co.uk

Ed Madeley M.Ost

References 

  1. Colbert LH, Hootman JM, Macera CA. Physical activity-related injuries in walkers and runners in the aerobics centre longitudinal study.Clin J Sport Med. 2000 Oct; 10(4):259-63.
  2. Lysholm J, Wiklander J Injuries in runners.Am J Sports Med. 1987 Mar-Apr; 15(2):168-71.
  3. Studying the Relation Between Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome and Anatomic and Anthropometric Characteristics of Military Male Personnel. Sobhani V, Shakibaee A, Khatibi Aghda A, Emami Meybodi MK, Delavari A, Jahandideh D Asian J Sports Med. 2015 Jun; 6(2):e23811.
  4. The Football Association Medical Research Programme: an audit of injuries in professional football–analysis of hamstring injuries. Woods C, Hawkins RD, Maltby S, Hulse M, Thomas A, Hodson A, Football Association Medical Research Programme. Br J Sports Med. 2004 Feb; 38(1):36-41.
  5. Hamstring injuries. Proposed aetiological factors, prevention, and treatment. Agre JC Sports Med. 1985 Jan-Feb; 2(1):21-33.
  6. Jawad F. Abulhasan, Michael J. Grey: Anatomy and Physiology of Knee Stability. J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2, (2017).
  7. The Relationship of Anticipatory Gluteus Medius Activity to Pelvic and Knee Stability in the Transition to Single-Leg Stance. Kim D, Unger J, Lanovaz JL, Oates AR PM R. 2016 Feb; 8(2):138-44.
  8. Kisner C, Colby LA: Therapeutic exercise. Foundations and Techniques. Philadelphia: Davis Company, 2007