This article is going to be a bit disjointed. I want to get my thoughts down and out on training with low-impact options whilst yesterday’s experience is still in my mind.
Having Low-Impact Alternatives
I very often take low-impact training options for granted. As an athlete who LOVES high-Intensity, and very rarely gets injured, it’s not something I personally need to consider
often. As a Les Mills Instructor and a Athlete Performance Coach, it’s something that I am always acutely aware of, but it’s always in the capacity of others. I’ll always design training around someone’s existing conditions or current injuries – factoring in loads and efforts in ways to still get them maximum results whilst healing and rehabilitating. Les Mills Group Fitness Classes do the same thing, and a good instructor will always make it very clear that low-impact options are a viable alternative that STILL promote advancement of fitness. An average instructor will just throw out the option of the alternative without highlighting that it is just as effective for your training and a bad instructor might not even include it at all.
So where are you going with this Pete?
I Have Injured Both Shoulders
Not badly. Strains of ligaments all through and around the shoulders from a competitive obstacle racing event. It’s enough to cause significant weakness and pain in functional body movements like pull-ups and push-ups, which of course is exactly the style I love to train in. Yesterday I team taught a Les Mills BODYATTACK class and was forced to do the low-impact versions of just about everything in the strength track, whilst the other instructor taught it per normal. It involved doing push-ups, not just on knees, but taking 90 degree elbow bends only whilst on knees, it meant doing minimal rotations of motions in walking push-ups – and my mental state before-hand was not happy about any of this arrangement. I pride myself on being a super-inclusive instructor, about advocating the benefits of taking low-impact as required so that you can still achieve your workout. I’ll shout the positives all day as a Trainer. I’m also honest enough to own up to having an ego whereby I like to personally push as hard as I can and taking it down a notch hurts.
I Was Genuinely Surprised
And I really shouldn’t have been. The strength track kept me moving, kept the blood pumping and, though yes was not as hard as it usually was, most definitely kept my workout doing it’s job. The muscle activation was present, I was receiving benefit from having done the moves in this way regardless of how it compared to my usual ability. I felt immediately humbled. The knowledge that this works is always there, I always sing out the praises for taking the options when required to keep the workout functioning in lieu of completely stopping – and yet – from my own physical viewpoint, had completely forgotten what it felt like. It’s happened to me twice in recent years. I hurt my foot last year and had a similar experience.
Is There A Message Here?
You bet – Instructors / Trainers / Coaches……I strongly encourage you to undertake a workout or class of your own and complete it through with Low-Impact options. Understand what you ask your participants to do when they are injured, learning, freshly starting. Understand exactly what the physical exerhertion levels are – and that low-impact options does not necessarily mean low intensity. It’s been an experience, yet again, for me to remember and one that I will not forget as quickly.
To Training Success – Through Any Adversity