How to Get More Flexible from an Injury

Injury recovery is an opportunity to build more strength and flexibility in the long term

Injuries happen. Sometimes it is from some kind of trauma, sometimes from chronic overuse. Pretty much everyone eventually ends up with some kind of bodily complaint that restricts their training.

It sucks, but it is also an opportunity.

Think of an injury as your body’s way of communicating, in no uncertain terms, where you need to focus your attention. Often our bodies break in the areas where we are weak or imbalanced. If you have tight, hunched shoulders you may get a shoulder impingement. If you have weak abs you could get a back injury. If you have weak psoas muscles you could get an overuse injury in your hip flexors. If you over-train you will get exhaustion-related injuries.

This can even be true for some traumatic injuries. Your body is most likely to break along its pre-existing fault lines.

So try not to freak out about taking some time off from regular training. Take advantage of the opportunity to work on those pesky body parts that you are ignoring! Try find the root cause of your injury. Where are you weak or tight or imbalanced? What are those exercises that you know you should do but you hate so you always skip them?

And even with severe injuries there is always some part of your body that you can still train.

True story:   Many years ago my dear friend, belly dancer and burlesque performer Princess Farhana, was in a terrible car accident. The accident damaged her spine and left her flat on her back for months, barely able to walk let alone dance. Doctors told her that she would never dance again and it was time to look for a new career. Rather than give up, she took that time to work on her belly rolls and undulations, spending hours figuring out how to isolate the muscles in her abdomen. Now she is famous for her ridiculously amazing rolls and flutters that travel not just up and down but side to side! Plus, strengthening her abdominal muscles was just what her back needed to begin to recover its full range of motion.

Remember, every setback is an opportunity for learning and growth. As Obi Wan Kenobi once said, “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

Nerdily yours, Kristina

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