Exercise Strategies for Injury Rehabilitation

Daniel Lehewych, M.A
6 min readDec 3, 2019

You’ve been given the clear from your doctor to get back to your sport. Naturally, you’re excited and looking forward to getting back at it. However, our instinctive response to getting clear often consists of these questions: how do we return safely? How can I get back to where I was before my injury and do so without getting reinjured?

Here are a few research-based exercise strategies to implement when rehabbing an injury to ensure you get back to your pre-injury performance levels:

Start Light:

When we are given the okay from our doctors, we incline to pick up where we left off before getting injured. However, dysfunctional movement patterns are potentially what got you injured in the first place. Returning to such patterns with a high intensity immediately is asking to become re-injured. Start light, work on form, and progress slowly over time with proper movement patterns. (1)

Auto-Regulate Your Training:

Each day that we enter our training, we feel different. Some days we feel on top of the world, and some days the world feels like it is on top of us. Likewise, different individuals respond differently to the same stimuli when it comes to sports training. (2) Yet, we seldom take this into account in our training. (3,4,5). This is a problem because when our bodies and minds feel the most run-down, we are most susceptible to injury. Auto-regulation is a training modality that takes this into account. This is the changing of training depending upon your recovery from training, psychological state, and how you feel physically. If you are having an “off day,” you can autoregulate by lowering the volume or intensity of your training, or by taking a day off from working out, or by switching exercises to something that suits your needs (whether they be not reaggravating an injury or not causing unnecessary aches and pains or taking too much out of you psychologically.) In other words, tier your training to your…