In today’s article and video “Should you train while injured?”, we will discuss whether you should train while you’re injured.
A few days ago I broke my metacarpal bone, and this prompted me to shoot a video/write an article about whether you should train while injured.
If you think I hurt it by punching something or someone, you’re wrong. Metacarpal bones usually break that way, but it was not the case this time. I had one of the coaches from our academy in the front headlock, he then tried to peel my hand off, and instead of peeling the entire hand off, he grabbed the little finger, pulled it hard and used it to crack my metacarpal bone. It was an accident.
This is a downside of being a fighting coach. If you want to know the difference between the observing coach and a fighting coach, check out my video Fighting vs observing coach.
So should you train while injured? It depends…
Here are a few things to consider:
1. DON’T WALLOW IN SELF-PITY
Many fighters have a tendency of feeling sorry for themselves because they got injured. Thinking: “I cannot train now, I have this competition coming up, now I will miss it, oh, poor little me…”
If that’s you – stop it, just stop it.
Don’t even entertain this thought. This kind of thinking will do you no good and will actually prevent you from making the best of this situation. You should view this injury as an opportunity to improve something that you can work on.
It’s your choice whether you will look at this as doom, or as an opportunity.
2. DO WHAT YOU CAN AS SOON AS YOU CAN
What does this mean? If there is nothing that you can do right now, I suggest going to training and staying mentally present by observing it. You can also help with the training by timing the rounds, giving feedback to your training partners and by acting as a second coach.
The worst thing that you can do is go home, watch Netflix and get fat. Don’t do that.
Stay in the gym even if you cannot do anything physically just yet, and watch. It is similar to visualizing fighting. The fighting techniques that you will observe from your training partners that are drilling them and using them in sparring, will stay in your brain. That way you will not be losing that much of your training. You watching the training doesn’t sound like much, but believe me – it has a lot of effect on your fighting ability.
Watching techniques being done is also a form of mental rehearsal.
And as soon as you can do something, start doing it. For example, I broke my hand and what can I do right now?
I will avoid running, jumping and punching the bag with my healthy limbs just yet. I don’t want to be sending shockwaves to my bone until it’s at least a little bit solid.
For now I can do squats, ab exercises, back extensions, some kind of rolls and stretching. But I have to be very careful not to injure my arm. If you think that you can injure your body more by doing some exercise, don’t do it.
I’m also going to be showing some techniques, but I’ll be very careful when doing so.
Before when I injured my right shoulder and elbow, I completely stopped working with this arm. I sparred in all aspects of MMA with my left arm, hit focus mitts, kicked the focus mitts and the heavy bag, and did everything with one arm so I didn’t lose much training at all.
This is a very good idea, but you have to be careful not to re-injure yourself or make your injury even worse. So do what you can, as soon as you can. Even if it seems insignificant. Even if all that you can do are sit-ups and back extensions. But it’s not insignificant because you are going to keep your body in at least some kind of shape instead of becoming a slob who watches TV all day.
3. BE PATIENT WITH RECOVERY
when you start training injured, you really cannot wait to incorporate that injured part of the body after a while. But you have to make sure that you’re really ready to take the next step and include that body part in your training. So don’t be in such a rush to get back to full training. Even if that means taking additional days off to make sure that your body is fully healed up, do so. Take those extra days off, take an extra month off.
For example, if you had knee surgery and you have been in rehab for like 3-4 months, and you’re not sure if you can start training fully again, take another month off. It’s not going to hurt you. But starting early could. So be smart about this.
How do you deal with injuries?
Do you start training immediately?
Let me know in the youtube comments.