7 tips for returning to the gym from PMC Physiotherapy Dunboyne

Gyms are back open and everyone is excited to get back into the swing of training. However, at PMC Physiotherapy Dunboyne we often see injuries occurring when prematurely resuming intense exercise. Below are 7 tips to get back to our pre-lockdown gym routines with the aim of avoiding injury.

1. Make sure you are still exercising regularly in 6 weeks’ time.

This is the most important part of this blog. All of the following tips are designed to help you to achieve this.

2. Take it easy – Reduce the weight & slow down

It may be 6 months since you last lifted. Whatever you were lifting the last time you were in the gym, cut it by 30-40% and build gradually over the next 6 weeks. Don’t do anything too fast in the first few weeks. A gym instructor or friend may ask you to “speed up”. Don’t. Not yet. Build the pace of your exercise nice and gradually just like the weight you lift.

3. Always warm up

Warming up prepares your joints, muscles, and mind for the exercise session you are about to begin. It increases blood flow to your muscles and helps activate your circulatory and respiratory systems.

4. Prioritize recovery – Rest days

The gym is now open. That doesn’t mean you should go 7 days a week for the first 2 weeks then don’t go at all for 2 weeks because you are sore and broken. 3-4 times per week is ample. Prioritising recovery is essential when getting back into the swing of working out with weights to help counteract increased exercise stress on your body musculature and prevent injury.

5. Eat and sleep well

If you are exercising for a specific body weight or body shape goal, talk to a qualified dietitian or nutritionist. Getting adequate rest and eating a balanced and nutritious diet gives your body and mind the fuel they need to carry out increased stress and exercise load.

6. Accept the DOMS – Listen to your body

Accept it. Your muscles are going to be sore after your first few gym sessions. That is even if you follow all the tips above. And what’s worse is that the day after the gym won’t even be the sorest day, 2 days after the gym is probably going to be worse again. DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is a normal response to doing an activity you are not used to. The best cure? Get back in the gym and exercise.

7. Don’t get disheartened

Once you get over the DOMS you will then start to feel fitter, stronger, faster. This will plateau within a few weeks as these “gains” cannot continue indefinitely. This is when the real work starts. From 6 weeks onwards your body will begin to adapt and change. Keep going. Respect any niggles and see one of our physiotherapists if any pain persists.

Remember if you need any further advice on your exercise goals or run into difficulties along the way, contact us at PMC Physiotherapy Dunboyne.


PMC Physiotherapy Clinic, Unit 36, Dunboyne Business Park, Dunboyne, Co Meath

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