I felt what started as an ache. Then a pain. Then bam! My back hurts .
I was saving a kitten from a burning building, putting out a fire while balancing a toddler on my shoulder. It was while jumping through the window and landing with a roll when I hurt my back.
I wish I could say that. No.
I was doing jump squats. Jump f**king squats.
It was a muscle pull.
Rest. That’s the often repeated advice by a whole bunch of people. Rest, and recover, and here, I would like to challenge that often repeated mandate.
There was a time when I would get an injury, and cancel all workout plans. It was “being kind to myself” and “allowing the body to recover”. So I moved less, stayed in bed, Netflixed; no chill, and generally be that prick in his underwear lounging about the house. The longest injury recovery I had to endure was six months. It was an injury in my lower back from a martial arts accident.
Six months later and I started back on my workout routine. Everything was tough. Weights was suddenly heavier, cardio knocked the wind out of me, and bodyweight exercises renewed my faith in gravity. “Start slow, I told myself”, and I did, but strangely, every time I increased intensity in my workouts, my back hurt again, so I would stop, and the cycle repeats.
I was on another injury rest day when I felt pain in the middle lats, ie, the centre of the upper back. Now my lower AND upper back hurts. What the f**k is going on?! “What the f**k is going on” was also the exact phrase I used when I saw the doctor for the millionth time.
Painkillers, rest, and recover, was again, what he recommended. That and a restraining order from the verbally abusive patient.
No, I had enough of that. No more resting, no more painkillers. The thing I wanted was a recovery, so I checked out some women.
The yoga class was highly disturbed by the unshaven man glaring at their downward dog, but I went away thinking hard.
Yoga’s all about mobility, and oh my, these yogis are the definition of mobility. I wanted more than that, I wanted to build muscles, and while yogis are some of the fittest people I knew, I wanted to add in muscle building as well.
So I modified my exercises. I got a resistance band, and instead of trying to “load” the muscles to get to to grow, I stretched it. And these were simple exercises that do not require much movement.
Here’s a picture of me doing a resistance band exercise for my back.
What’s the result? I now get less prone to injury, and if I do get injured, recovery time is much shorter.