Hurt Muscle: Should I skip it or take a full body break?

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Question:

If you I was overloading and accidently pulled a muscle. Should I lay off that muscle and work other parts, or just lay off for a week for total body recooperation, and continue full body work out again.

Thanks

Andy

Answer:

There’s actually several things you can do in this situation. But keep this in mind, if you don’t take care of a soft tissue injury as soon as possible using some method, it can worsen to the point where it’s beyond repair.

First…

Make sure you immediately rest the area. If you are working a body part and feel a tweak or twing that isn’t right and you know you’ve hurt yourself, the best thing to do then is quit working out. Don’t finish up. Stop training and rest the area.

Second…

Icing the area can be a nice relief. You can use a cold compress or some type of heat like gel. AST’s Biofreeze was my personal choice for pulled or strained muscles.

Third…

If you can, get the area professionally massaged. I know how many people frown on this or laugh. But there’s been times when all I needed was to get the area worked on so that it could heal much faster. You work your muscles and they are in a constant state of repair. Having a massage is not only theraputic but it allows for overall body recovery and to work out any problems that might be on the rise.

Fourth…

If you can, keep stretching and working the muscle. Keep it limber. Don’t let it tighen up and heal improperly. Of course, this does not mean you stretch it right after being pulled. Let the area rest and see how it feels later before doing anything except icing or geling the area.

Now that you know what to do with a pulled muscle you have to consider what to do later with your workouts.

Should you just avoid working that muscle or take a week off and give the body a rest?

That depends on the muscle and its overall involement with other body parts.

For example:

If you hurt your shoulder, it’s pretty hard to not work it indirectly. Pull-ups will work the shoulder. Any chest movements. Biceps and tricep movements will aggrivate it. Maybe you could do legs or calves. In this case, you’d be better off doing exercises that didn’t hurt it at all. It would be very hard to lay off that muscle since it’s directly related to so many other movements.

However, maybe you pulled a calf muscle or your bicep has been acting up. You can do other exercises that don’t aggrivate the area. In which case there’s no need to quit working out but simply avoid any movements that stimulate or bring pain to the area.

Here’s the bottom line:

You should avoid working that muscle until it’s recovered. If you can avoid working that muslce, you can keep working out and just avoid anything that brings pain to the area. If there’s no way you can avoid it like in the example of shoulders where it’s involved in just about everything, you should take a week off or until the muscle is recovered and focus on healing the area.

There’s simply no point in continuing to workout if you are just going to be in pain. You won’t make any gains and you’ll probably damage the area to the point where it might not hurt all the time but when you do a particular exercise, all that pain comes back.

My personal experience has taught me that if I can avoid working a problem area, I’ll just lay off it until it feels better (bicep area around the elbow to be specific) but if it’s connected to everything (like the lower back) then it’s best to get the area recovered as soon as the injury occurs so that it doesn’t force you to quit working out for an extended period of time.

For more information about starting bodybuilding and fitness the right way and avoiding the beginner mistakes, check out my ebook, The Beginner’s Guide to Fitness and Bodybuilding at www.beginning-bodybuilding.com


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