Gym-goers live by the mantra “Go Hard or Go Home” – sometimes to the point of injury. Whether you’re exercising for strength, aesthetic, or health, you have to know the limits of your own body. If you fail to acknowledge your limitations, then it may lead to some serious injuries, but don’t worry! Here’s everything you need to know about going back to your regular workout routine after getting a strained muscle!
How to Recover Fast from a Strained Muscle
1. See a Doctor
Before you decide to go back to the gym, you should consult with a medical professional first. This should be your first step when dealing with any injury. No one knows your body like you do so it’s important to get professional advice beyond what you can find online.
Despite the available resources we have online, it is still vital to seek professional medical advice.
Your doctor should be the one to decide whether you should take medication, continue resting, or if you’re good to go back to the gym.
To easily remember what you need to do after getting a strained muscle, just remember the acronym R.I.C.E. Take note: we’re not talking about the carbohydrate-packed food extender we avoid when we’re trying to lose weight.
We’re talking about rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The moment you pull a muscle, the first thing you need to do to lessen the potential damage to your body is to apply R.I.C.E.
Rest: After getting a strained muscle, immediately stop whatever exercise you are doing. Please do not attempt to “shrug off” the pain. Elevate the injured body part above your heart to reduce swelling.
Ice: While your strained muscle is elevated, have a friend, trainer, or partner ice your injured body part.
If no one is around at the time then you have to do it yourself. As soon as you get home, you need to ice your strained muscle for at least 15 minutes every two hours every day.
Compression: Use an ACE wrap or a compression garment to efficiently compress and squeeze out any excess blood out of the area.
You should continue to compress your strained muscle for at least a week.
Elevation: It is important to elevate your injured body part continuously during your recovery.
Combine the three former elements with elevation to speed up your recovery and lessen the damages.
3. Stretching and Rolling a Strained Muscle
Many people attempt to stretch or use a foam roller on their sprained muscle.
However, it is vital that you do not stretch your strained muscle shortly after you pulled it. In fact, doing so will only delay your recovery since you’re not giving it enough time to knit back together.
Tip: If your strained muscle is only a minor injury, you can gently massage it with a foam roller a few days after pulling it. Just remember to continuously apply R.I.C.E.
4. Learn From Your Mistake
Whether you were trying to beat your previous PR or simply had bad form, you should learn from your mistake so you don’t pull a muscle again.
Pulling a muscle is not uncommon. However, if you don’t figure out the cause of this injury, then it may lead to something more serious than a strained muscle.
Tip: Once you get back to the gym, you should avoid putting a heavy load on your body. Remember that you just got injured and may still be recovering.
For example, if you pulled a muscle while weightlifting, then you can try doing some cardio or bodyweight exercises first before going back to your original routine.
Many gym-goers get a strained muscle because they don’t know the proper workout form. Check out this video from V Shred to learn how you can squat without back pain:
Overall, the best thing to do to avoid injuries such as a strained muscle is to know your body. You can continue researching exercises best suited for your physique and goal. As important as it is to work hard for your dream body, it’s equally significant that you know how to achieve that goal.
*Note: The information here is provided for informational purposes only. V Shred highly recommends seeking medical advice for injuries.
Did reading this article give you a better idea of what to do when you get a strained muscle? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!