Lesson 4 – Pain-Free Movement

“Pain is not something you deal with, it is something you haven’t dealt with.” – Coach Hassard

Pain or no pain, please pay close attention to this lesson and you’ll save yourself from lots of rehab time, medical bills, and performance loss.

Pain is unfortunately very common in inexperienced, improperly trained, or hard-charging people. It’s very rare that I work with someone who hasn’t or currently has back, shoulder, and/or knee pain. However, the great news is that there is always a solution and the solution is often very simple. With proper training, you can find pain-free movement by taking the necessary steps to deal with it.

As you recall and will never forget, one of the unbreakable rules in training is to find pain-free movement. If you ignore pain or try to push thru it, it is inevitable, INEVITABLE, that a more serious and debilitating injury is coming your way. Not only will an injury slow or completely stop your progress, it can be psychologically destructive. Even though the body will heal, some people never recover mentally from an injury. Save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress and deal with any pain immediately.

First, let’s make the distinction between good pain and bad pain.

Good Pain

The only good pain is the feelings commonly associated with exercise (i.e. muscles burning, aerobic demands, mental discomfort).

Acceptable Pain

Acceptable pain is soreness, we don’t want it, but when training, it’s going to be there from time-to-time. I do my best not to train muscles that are sore because they are in recovery mode and I want them to recover as fast as possible.

Bad Pain

You know what bad pain is. It overrides everything. It is sharp, throbbing, pulsing, shooting…you get it. It is your body stepping in and saying something is not right. Listen to that instinct.

What to do if you experience pain:

Here are the steps you can take (in order):

  1. Easiest Solution: Ask or hire an experienced fitness professional. Don’t be afraid to ask a trainer at your gym, this is what they do and they want to share their knowledge.
  2. Foam roll the muscle tissue above and below the area of pain. This will keep the problem subdued, but still may not address the underlying cause. Note: foam rolling can be painful, it’s the only exception to the rule. With foam rolling, we are seeking out hot spots or tender or sensitive areas and focusing on them to release that tension. The foam roller is not a long-term solution, but it can do wonders to get tissue healthy, keep it healthy, and reduce the risk of injury. This deserves it’s own lesson which we will save for another day.
  3. Check & Correct Form – consult a fitness professional on this.
  4. Lighten the Weight – train the weakest link to get stronger.
  5. Modify the Exercise – do something less advanced, again, consult a fitness professional on this.
  6. Stop Doing It
  7. Consult a Medical Professional – If none of the above work, consult a medical professional such as a physical therapist who specializes in sports.

In summary, if you have pain, deal with it.

As you can see, we highly recommend you consult a fitness professional. Visit our Private Facebook Group and ask us for recommendations or contact us.

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