Working Around Injury

Working Around Injury

You’ve been working on adding 10kg to your squat or shaving seconds off your 5k time and BOOM you sprain an ankle or come down with a chest infection and your current training takes a hit but there is no need to stop training entirely and let your progress slip further than it has too.

Many of us have had something that interferes with our normal training activities and it is annoying to say the least, however there is nearly always a way to keep your training moving forward.

working around an injury Hams Fitness Surrey Personal Training

Find a way…

The key is to get inventive, to look at your workouts from a new perspective.

If you are a runner but have an injury in one leg there are plenty of other ways to raise your heart rate: try a superslow circuit:

One leg squats

Pull ups

One leg squats


One leg squats


One leg squats

Overhead press

60 seconds of each but perform each exercise as slowly as possible

repeat three times through…it can be brutal moving slowly!

Been working on your bench but your shoulder is injured and lifting heavy is off the table for a while?

Try much lighter weights and utilise a rest pause method to recruit all the same big muscle fibres as would a heavy bench:

Lets say you normally bench 100kg for 5 sets of 3-5 reps but that is too sore to do right now. Take 60kg or even 50kg and perform your first set to as near positive failure as you can (when you can’t quite get another repetition) which may be in a much higher rep range than normal, rack the bar and count to ten, by the time you have reached a ten count you should be taking the bar back out of the rack and starting your next set.

This second set will involve far less repetitions but due to the build up of fatigue you will still be recruiting nearly all of your available muscle fibres as you would in a 100kg bench but this time you won’t be under such heavy loading and your shoulders will thank you.

Once you performed as many reps as possible repeat the same process of resting 10 seconds, maybe up to 20 seconds if you are only managing a single rep a set.

Run through this rest pause method until you have a target number of total reps. Perhaps 20 to 30 reps in total if all the reps are tough to move.

working around an injury Hams Fitness Surrey Personal Training

Serge Nubret: known for lighter weight, higher rep workouts


Caught a cold and can’t work on your cardio…

Working high repetition cardio exercise whilst you have a cold or a chest infection is the worst way to get back to health.

Try your hand at some basic strength moves for low reps and low volume to increase strength and allow your immune system time to work it’s magic.

Your increased strength will help wonders with long term endurance goals and injury prevention.

Try deadlifting for reps of no more than three using a weight that is heavy but not exhausting. Do this every other day until you return to health.

Deadlifting not your cup of tea? Try squatting combined with chin ups. Same loading and reps.

Any time you strengthen the muscles involved in your cardio activity (legs and bum for running) you make life easier for them: each stride will take less effort the stronger you are which in turn means you’ll be able to either a) run faster or b) run further. Win.


An injury or sickness needn’t stop you training but it will force you to think a little differently


So next time you are ill or injured just remember that there is always a way to get in some exercise, even if it’s not quite what you want it is better than not doing anything at all. Our bodies were designed to move and movement heals.

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