3325 N York St, Denver, CO 80205

Injury Rehab & Prevention

Strength Training During Rehab &

to prevent injury

At Urban Pump, we believe that one can…and should do a strength training program while rehabbing from an injury.

The strength training program would need to be customized to avoid further injury, and many times strength training can help speed up the recovery from injury. As an example, if someone has a herniated disk, he could still do most of the lifts he could before but he should stay away from the lifts that would impinge the nerve. These would be exercises like dead-lifts, squats, and any overhead exercises such as shoulder presses. Moreover, he could do exercises that re-engage the Transverse abdominus and do traction after the workout (traction is what can get the herniated disk to take pressure off of the sciatic nerve which brings relief).

Another example would be knee surgery, such as acl reconstruction. The trainee can work the whole body, and even the opposite leg to build and maintain strength and muscle mass. Once he has clearance from the physical therapist, he can do light weight/high rep training and isolation work to strengthen the muscles of the injured body part. Before long, his strength will be back up to par with the noon injured limb.

There are many examples but the point is that in most cases, one can…and should do a strength training program while rehabbing from an injury.

Can strength training make an injured joint, ligament or tendon worse?

This question is similar to the one about leg presses for an injured knee. You can do strength training with these injuries, but you have to use caution. Use a slow and controlled tempo and pain free range of motion. Moreover, the repetition range should be higher with lighter weights until the injured joint or tendon heals. By doing so, the joint, ligament or tendon heals faster because it is getting more blood flow from the exercise, giving it the nutrition it needs to heal.


I injured my knee. Should I avoid leg presses?

It depends on the severity and type of injury. If, for example, you tore your acl (anterior cruciate ligament), or any other ligaments around the knee, then yes, you should lay off the leg presses for a while. However, if you strained your knee, or injured it years ago and rehabbed it, you should do leg presses. We find that the leg press is one of the best exercises to help rehab, strengthen, and stabilize the knee after injury. That is because the leg press is a compound movement (uses more than one muscle group, i.e. the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings), and the knee is in a stable position to do the lift.
The exercises that need to be avoided or approached with more caution are the leg extensions, lunges, barbell squats and so forth.
To discuss strength training during injury recovery or to help prevent injury, give us a call (303-587-0149) or chat us up on social media.

Check out our blog posts on injuries and injury prevention