Training with an Injury

No, I don’t mean gritting your teeth and training despite the horrible pain and risk of lasting damage. Neither do I mean mercilessly taking painkillers and pretending it is not that bad really…

I am talking about finding a healthy way to keep you fitness levels up during a period of injury.

I would first like to say that the ability to do this depends very strongly on what injury you have and I would advise checking with a medical professional and a fitness professional before embarking on this.

yes, this was pretty much the situation she was in...
yes, this was pretty much the situation she was in…
Having said that, there are definitely some things you can do. For example, I have recent;y been working with a client who is a very keen and very good runner who has a hip flexor injury which she has been trying to train through for a while. After (in her words) trying to catch up with someone and not being able to manage more than a Quasimodo style hobble, she decided it was time to get this checked out properly! When she did, she was told in no uncertain terms, to stop running for a few weeks while it heals!

Worried about keeping up her cardio fitness while off running she asked if she could do anything to keep up her fitness. She got the reply, that she could if she could think of any cardio that didn’t involve the use of the hip flexor.

She couldn’t, but luckily she came to me and I did some research into upper body only cardio exercises.

IMG_7871[1] We have done two sessions using,  kettlebells (static moves only no swings as that uses the hips a lot) upper body plyometrics, boxing padwork and battle ropes.

I incorporated these into high intensity intervals and circuit training to keep the heart-rate up during the whole session and what came out of it was a series of sessions that allowed at least some level of fitness to be maintained while still resting the injured body part.


It is important to take care when injured, and it is, of course important to follow medical advice, but there are many ways to adapt training so fitness doesn’t suffer completely due to injury.

If you would like to find out more about modified training methods and rehabilitation programs, feel free to contact me πŸ™‚

By Sam Catchpole

She/They | Aspiring Strongperson, Photographer, Artist, Writer,


  1. I’ve been glum today because I’ve had to rest up my calf. Hopefully a few of these exercises will cheer me up. Thanks, great advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Go for it! Any upper body work will get your heart rate going πŸ™‚ you can even do weights sitting if you need to and if they are heavy enough to be challenging (but not crazy) they will work πŸ™‚ other things you can do include throwing med balls if you have them above your head or against the wall πŸ™‚


  2. Excellent advice Sam. I suffered a calf pull in the middle of training (March) for an hilly 1/2 marathon, completely destroyed me mentally but fortunately I have an excellent sports massage person, bought some compression sleeves to aid recovery and went cycling and swimming, then after a month tentatively dipped my toe back into running (very very short and slow to start), I managed the 1/2 marathon albeit in a little bit of discomfort but the big one was still a month away (Chamonix cross du mont blanc 23 km) Completed it and no further injuries. So listen to your body rest/ice/elevate whatever is required and adjust your exercise/routines.

    Liked by 1 person

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