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  • Dr. Kyle Womack

Returning to the Gym after Quarantine

Many of you, like myself, will be returning to your gym this week or in the weeks to come after being away from it for 6+ weeks. Here are some things to take into consideration when you walk back infor your first workout.


Breathing

  • You likely haven’t been pushing your respiratory and cardiovascular system during the quarantine like you were in your normal workouts. Just like you may lose some strength when you don’t lift heavy for a while, the same goes for your breathing.

  • What to do about it??

  • Focus on NOSE BREATHING as long as you can. This will help you keep your heart rate and respiratory rate down. It also warms and filters the air making it easier to breathe.

  • Only breathe through your mouth when you HAVE TO. (i.e. sprints, fast workouts, etc)

Mobility

  • If you were used to moving around pre-quarantine and you now find yourself sitting at your home office desk, you have likely lost some of your mobility. It will come back quickly, but it will take some effort.

  • Here are some areas to make sure you put some time on:

Hip Extension


Overhead Mobility


Thoracic Extension


Bracing

  • You want to find stability in your core with all your lifts. A good cue to keep in mind for this is “ribs down.”

  • If you are not stable through your trunk, you will be lifting on an unstable platform and can lead to injury, but what’s of more concern is that you will not be expressing your full performance potential (a.k.a. Lift more weight!)

  • Here is a good way to learn how to find neutral spine, then find this same feeling when you are squatting, pressing, deadlifting, or running.



Strength

  • Don’t expect to hit the same numbers you were hitting the day before the shutdowns. Your strength will come back quickly, as short term losses are mostly neurological. This means that although it may have taken you the last 2 years to add 50lbs to your squat, it will not necessarily take you another 2 years to get back to those weights.

  • Start off with about 75% of what you previously used for your weights. Work up from there, you will be glad you did when you continue gaining your strength and most likely even bypass where you were fairly soon.

Skills

  • Like any activity in life, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” Take your time getting back into your snatches, muscle ups, kipping, handstands, and box jumps. Things might not feel the same at first and might take some time to feel back to normal again.


Community

  • Get to know EVERYONE in your gym. One of the best parts about going to a gym is the community. People are craving to get to be around others right now. So take the time to talk with the people that you may have never met before (from 6ft away in a well ventilated area, of course.)


What if something hurts??

  • Modify that movement to something that is not painful.

  • Lighten the load to determine if it was just a matter of not being able to handle that load yet.

  • If you would like for us to check your movement, come in for a Free Mobility Assessment so we can see what is holding you back and how we can help you. Give us a call/text (405-633-0193), or email (kyle@womackpt.com) and I would love to help you out.

  • Not in Oklahoma?? No problem! We have been providing Virtual Physio Sessions from Hawaii to the East Coast to keep people like you moving and progressing pain free!


Enjoy getting back in the gym and have fun!


Dr. Kyle Womack, PT, DPT, CF-L2


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