Have you been involved in a car accident? Do you want to get back to the gym or just build up your fitness? Most injuries caused by car crashes affect the neck, back, or shoulders. Some may increase your risk of developing early onset osteoarthritis, chronic pain and other complications. Depending on the type and severity of your injuries, there are various exercises you can do for muscle and strength gains.
Here are a few simple ways to build up your fitness after a car accident:
Take It Easy
Whether you're a pro athlete or a beginner, allow your body to heal before returning to your training routine. Increase workout intensity and volume gradually, engage in low impact activities, and watch for any warning signs. Cycling and swimming are recommended to those who had muscle strains. After a joint sprain, focus on rehabilitation and work out your non-injured areas. Incorporate new exercises every week. If you’ve had bone fractures, work with a physiotherapist.
Focus on Larger Muscles
Compound exercises, such as the squat, lunges, deadlifts, and shoulder press, are a better choice than isolation moves - at least for those with recent injuries. For example, you can start with exercises that target larger muscles like your chest and quads. Use machines only. As you progress, use stabilizer exercises to strengthen smaller muscles. Warm up properly before working out. Cool down after exercise. Warming up and cooling down may help reduce injuries and improve blood flow to your muscles.
Focus on Recovery
Proper recovery is just as important as training. Stretching, massage, foam rolling, and physiotherapy can help rebuild your strength. These techniques support muscle repair, increase your range of motion, and keep your bones flexible. In addition to your regular workouts, spend at last 30 minutes a day stretching your muscles. Get a massage at least three times a week to speed up healing.
Dr. Michael Weir is the clinic director at Bellevue Whiplash Center at Back in Action Chiropractic. We will also be hosting a variety of relevant guest bloggers to help you understand your injuries better.