Dan Jimenez, Co-owner, Axistence Athletics
Everyone is talking about “being present”. But few seem to really practice it.
One activity I really enjoy doing is working out while I’m injured.
That little back “tweak”, the sting on the front of your shoulder, the quick shooting pain to the outside of the knee.
Those are just little opportunities to practice presence.
Once you can get past feeling like a failure, past the inconvenience of having to decrease speed & intensity, and all of the glorious gains you think you’re missing out on…once the ego has settled, you can truly be present in your training.
Now you can focus on finding the right movement pattern. Focus on activating the correct prime mover (main muscle responsible for the bulk of the movement), and not using your tiny stabilizer muscles to do the work for you…which is most likely how you got the injury in the first place.
You suffered from a lack of presence, a lack of awareness. You were moving fast to get through the next pull-up. Speed conceals weakness. In this case, using your shoulders and traps to get your chin over the bar, instead of your undertrained lat muscles.
Well here’s your opportunity to reconnect with the present.
Ask a coach for the best scaling option that will allow you to re-train your movement pattern. Don’t just avoid the injury, let it heal, then go back to doing the same shitty reps that got you there in the first place.
Take the time to feel the muscle engage. Slow down the tempo. Decrease the complexity of the movement. Use dumbbells instead of a barbell. Go one arm or leg at a time.
Feel your pec (chest muscle) start to contract on a Single-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press, then feel your shoulder try and take over like it always does. Focus back on contracting the pec, and relaxing the anterior delts (front of the shoulder).
Go slow. Feel the activation. Feel the burn of the prime mover finally doing it’s job. Reprogram your muscles to work properly (biggest ones doing the work, little ones stabilizing).
This time is a gift. Be present.
Fix your shit now, so you won’t have to again in the future.
This is just one of the reasons I enjoy working out with an injury.
********DISCLAIMER: If you are severely injured, in post surgery recovery, or had a medical professional tell you to rest it a week or two, listen to them.
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