Injury Rehab: How to Come Back Stronger than Ever

May 17, 2014 Katie Burrell

Anyone who has experienced a season ending injury and is relegated to the couch for a period of time knows that one of the most challenging things about any injury is the comeback. Rehabilitation is more than just building strength; it has to incorporate increasing your range of motion, strengthening your muscles and then, ultimately, rebuilding your cardiovascular fitness. If your injury resulted in surgery, your body has undergone a lot of trauma, and it’s important to build back without overdoing it. These are some of the best exercises for low impact rehabilitation that allow your body to get back to where it was before – if not better. 

It's Always Darkest Before The Dawn.
It’s always darkest before the dawn. Photo: Dave Silver

Swimming Being in the water has one very important benefit: release from the constant pull of gravity on the body. This allows tight and spasmed muscles to move, stretch and increase mobility. Further, it takes the weight off of the weakened muscles and allows for them to recover in a weightless environment. Swimming is a great source of cardio as well as an excellent way to start moving your body and rebuilding your muscles.

So You Can Go Swimming In The Deep Stuff At Last Frontier Heliskiing Again! Photo: Dave Silver
So you can go swimming in the deep stuff at Last Frontier Heliskiing again! Photo: Dave Silver

Restorative or Yin Yoga Restoring your range of motion is the first step in recovery. These styles of yoga incorporate a longer hold of each pose, allowing fascia to release and decreases swelling in joints. Further, the mental struggle of undergoing an injury can be really hard. Relaxing the mind, focusing on the present moment and letting go of the negativity that injury will inevitably bring into your life is a very important part of a holistic recovery.

Get Back To Your Favourite Zen Place: The Powder At Last Frontier Heliskiing. Photo: Dave Silver
Get back to your favourite zen place: the powder at Last Frontier Heliskiing. Photo: Dave Silver

Trail Running As things start to amp up and you start to get stronger, one of the best ways to improve your cardio is to run up hills. Trails are a great way to do this – the mountains provide lots of inclines to work your way up. But the best part about training on trails is that the ground is soft and after all that your joints have been through, they will thank you for the soft landings. 

Your Muscles Need You, And You Need Your Muscles. Photo: Caton Garvie
Your muscles need you, and you need your muscles. Photo: Caton Garvie

Road Biking With the smoothness of pedalling and without the strain of bumping over rocks and roots, road biking is an excellent way to add resistance training back in to your life. The muscles that you can build road biking are similar to the ones that you build ski touring or skiing, because of the constant load on the big muscle groups in your legs. Further, if you put weight on during the period of inactivity, road biking is a surefire way to burn itt off.

Good luck! You got this. Stick to it over the spring, summer and fall so that you can reward yourself with a trip to Last Frontier Heliskiing next winter!