Lately I’ve been working with an athlete rehabbing from a lower body injury who needs to keep her cardiovascular conditioning and fitness as high as possible. It’s been a great challenge and has gotten me utilizing some methods and equipment I don’t regularly utilize.
Circuit training, in particular, has been crucial.
It’s really important to keep training, even with an injury, you just have to be smart about it. Otherwise, the athlete will come back from injury only to find themselves woefully out of shape - which can lead to a new injury simply from fatigue when they try to pick up their sport again.
There are truly unlimited possibilities when it comes to circuit training. A basic understanding of what you want to get out of the session should help guide some decent decision making. Always be sure to factor in some rest time and/or active recovery.
I’m also a big supporter of self-regulation. If your body says it needs to go slower or rest, then give it what it needs! We always want to train with the intent to “live to fight another day”. There will be another workout to push to your limit.
Here is a circuit that I designed for myself that focused on repeated efforts of maximum power with active recovery. All active recovery exercises were chosen for my specific injury prevention needs:
Explosive Belt Squat x5
*Scap Pull-up x10
Explosive Lat Pulldown x5
*Heel Raise x10
MB Keg Toss x5
*Full cans/Empty cans x10
Explosive Push/Pull x2/way
Active recovery exercises indicated with the asterisk and italics.
I was able to monitor power output on a rep-by-rep basis throughout the session, but if you want to give this a try and do not have access to that type of feedback just simply do each of the main exercises with as much speed/force as you can generate for every single repetition.
Let me warn you: the above is not for the faint of heart. The repeated focus on power was a real difference maker. Be smart with the amount of total time you want to work. This session was done for 7 rounds and that took around 45-minutes. It was exhausting. Like impacts-the-rest-of-your-day exhausting. I suggest targeting 20-minutes or so for your first time.
Feel free to substitute your own exercises for the active recovery choices. If there’s a chink in your armour, this is the perfect opportunity to know your staying fit and pushing yourself with exercises that are safe for you, while also getting the extra reps on your prehab/rehab exercises.
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