First and foremost, to ease back into gym workouts, you need to go steady, especially if you’ve been exercising in your front room for the last few months.
With more of us becoming comfortable WOFH (that’s working out from home, obvs), it’s no surprise that UK adults* were saving £100 a month, compared with going to the gym.
That being said, experts predict that fitness enthusiasts will still be keen to hit the squat rack ASAP.
Worried that your time away from the gym has had a negative impact on your strength and fitness?
We’ve caught up with Emily Outterside, Trainer at F45 Peckham Rye, who offers her expert advice on what you can do to avoid getting injured when you head back to the gym.
Ease Back In Slowly
“Many people will have been doing bodyweight workouts at home and/or running, but this doesn’t mean your lockdown fitness translates into the gym.
“Take it steady and go lower when lifting weights than you used to before lockdown – you’ll regain your strength faster this way, rather than expecting too much of yourself too quickly and creating injuries.
“Progressing your weights slowly week by week is the most effective way to achieve results safely. No one enjoys going so heavy day one that you can’t climb stairs without agonising pain for a weeks.”
Stretching is Key
“Stretching and recovery should always be very high on your priority list when working out, as well as an adequate cool down after a session.
“Flexibility is key to moving safely and with ease, even one yoga class a week will solicit great benefits to your posture too.
“These habits will decrease chances of injury and improve your recovery so you can get straight back into it a day or two later.”
Focus on Form
“After taking a break from exercise, your technique is bound to be a little bit rusty, quality of reps is better than quantity, so start slow and concentrate on your movement as well as breathing technique.
“If you’re not sure how to perform something correctly ask for some guidance from a PT or coach in your local gym.
“At F45 Training, we always have an instructor going around the class to ensure you are performing each move correctly, as well as having screens around the studio to show you exactly how each exercise needs to be done.”
“I’m sure the temptation is often to go back to gym workouts as many times as possible within a week, however rest days don’t mean you’re slacking or not working hard enough.
“It means you are giving your body time to recover and therefore increase subsequent performance when in the gym.
“Your muscles physically need the down time and the days off to repair and grow.
“The rest will reduce muscle fatigue and keep your motivation up. Treat your rest day as active recovery rather than a sofa Netflix marathon, so either a nice long walk, a light sport outdoors, or a yoga class will do the trick.”