09 Jan Joint Strength After An Injury
Strengthening a joint after minor injury – By Dave Perry, Parkour Instructor
The first thing you should do if you experience a pull, sprain, hyperextension, or other minor injury to your joints is to stop your workout and place ice on the injured area.
After using ice for 15-20 mins the inflammation should be manageable or gone depending on how severe the injury. Do not “tough it out” and continue your workout. This can set you up for an even worse injury.
After the injury has been given time to rest (a couple days to several weeks, depending on severity) there are many simple exercises you can do to begin rebuilding strength in the affected area. Here are a few for several major joints:
Shoulders, elbows , and wrists
- Shoulder shrugs and circles
- Elbow rotations
- Wrists stretches and circles
- Plank variations
- QM variations
Isometric (like static holds) and isotonic (repetition) exercises
- Dead hang from a bar (clenching shoulder joints and wrists)
- Wrist curls in all directions
- Tensing or flexing the muscles around the joint
Ankles, knees and hips,
- Hip circles (hula hoop)
- Leg circles
- Knee circles
- Ankle circles
- Full 2pt landing (toe squat for time)
- 1/4 to 1/2 2pt landing (half toe squat)
- Hollow hold and superman
- Static lunge
- Horse stance
Isometric and isotonic exercises
- Ankle curls
- Toe flex
- Toe raise
- Ankle movements: inversion, eversion, dorsi flexion, plantar flexion
- Knee flex
- Hips movements: flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, internal and external rotation
No exercise on this list needs to be done for more than 30-45 sec per round. A good rule of thumb is “3×3 per day.” That’s three exercises, done three times each, with light stretching in between rounds. Supplement this with heat packs (encourages circulation) and targeted massage (same, plus restoration of fascia) afterwards and you’ll be back at in no time.
If you try any of these exercises and they cause pain (sharper, beyond fatigue) your injury is probably more severe. You should avoid using the injured part of your body as much as possible until it’s had more time to recover.
Once you’ve healed fully that doesn’t mean you have to stop using these exercises to help you warm up or to do your workout. If you want to make any of these exercises harder you can always ad weight or more time/reps to make them more difficult. Be creative and expand on these basic exercises, combining them with others, and you can make them your own to be more challenging.
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