We’ve posted on this topic before, but it warrants a yearly check-in and reminder.

The conversation is all too familiar with the coaching staff. An athlete returns to the shop after some time away, say 1-2 weeks, and a coach asks them, “where have you been?” The athlete replies that they haven’t been in because they suffered a tweak – inside or outside the shop – and they didn’t want to be a burden by coming to class.

In a second example, the athlete attends class for a period of a few weeks and asks for modifications at each class to work around a tweak. While they may walk away from the day with a good workout, the tweak continues to annoy them and it’s just not getting better, even with some targeted modifications.

In the first example – not wanting to be a burden in class – we’ve heard many variations – not knowing how to modify for injury, not wanting to take a disproportionate amount of the coach’s time, not wanting to scale or modify around the injury, or not wanting to stand out to the rest of the class, to name a few. The second example is sometimes less pronounced as the athlete requests modifications to manage the situation on their own but without a dedicated plan of attack, the problem can seem to drag on.

Staples of the Athlete Coach Relationship at Roots

We wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone of a few staples of the athlete and coach relationship at Roots;

Here’s an example of a portion of a rehab/prehab plan written for an athlete at Roots. The work is supplemental to group class attendance but is written such that it should not take more than 10 minutes outside of class time. Don’t be fooled, those 10 minutes can really add up!

First of all, it’s 100% encouraged for you to come to class when you have a limitation or something you need to work around. Not only is it encouraged, but the coaches actually expect you to continue coming to class.

Fitness is gained, in part, through consistency. Breaks away from the gym to allow one area of the body to heal, while the rest of your body is completely capable of fitness, is not a recipe for long-term consistency. Not to mention, many have found that exercising the parts of the body that are 100% helps the problem area to recover faster. It’s also a great time to address weaknesses!

In addition, we firmly believe that modifying a workout to get IN a workout, is far more beneficial than simply not working out. For many, a tweak can be a show stopper to fantastic momentum. A week spent skipping workouts and all of the sudden it’s hard to get back into that great routine you had just a mere 7 days prior.

When a Tweak Becomes a Nag

When you have made an attempt to work around or modify workouts for a specific tweak and it’s just not getting better, it may be time to reach out to a coach and ask to meet with them. During a 30 minute session, a coach can help identify the problem, provide rehab or prehab work to be done outside of class, and come up with a plan for how to modify workouts in group class. This information is then passed on to the coaching staff such that they are prepared to work with you the next time you come to class and in a focused and informed way. It brings continuity and a dedicated plan to your group class attendance.

We’ve scaled, modified, and rehabbed for (to name a few):

  • A cracked rib from mountain biking
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Shoulder pain
  • Rotator cuff surgery repairs
  • Sprained, strained, twisted, torqued, tweaked, etc. of nearly every joint
  • A strained or tight low back
  • A neck that was slept on in a funny way
  • Ankle, neck, back, knee, shoulder, and wrist surgeries
  • A pulled hamstring from an overzealous stretch from first base during an intramural softball game

So, how do you put this into practice?

  1. The next time you pull, tweak, strain, or run into something that causes you to question whether or not you should come to class, start by signing up for class.
  2. When you arrive to the shop, check-in with the coach so they can ask you any needed questions and start to make a plan for the workout modifications for that day.
  3. IF the problem is not resolved in a week or becomes a nagging issue, email a coach to set-up a session to come up with a dedicated and integrated plan of attack.

Tweaks and injuries are part of life. Remember that you have great resources to work through them and stay active!

Have you ever skipped a class because you didn’t want to be a burden to the coaches? Have you met with a coach to make a specific plan of attack for a nagging injury? Post to comments.