Pay attention to how your body feels when you are exercising. Whether it is dryland, yoga, swimming, running, cycling, etc., it is important to listen to the natural cues your brain automatically sends you. The tiny aches, pains, twinge-type feelings you encounter are warning signs. This is the time to adjust or pay close attention to what is going on at that very moment. You are likely performing an action with sub-optimal technique or perhaps using resistance that is too much.
Take these steps when you feel slight pain or discomfort:
- Self-correct. What do you know about the movement that you can fix on your own? Oftentimes it is something simple like posture or alignment. Take responsibility and apply the cues you have been taught.
- Decrease resistance. If the weight is too heavy for you to reach correct and full range of motion, drop the amount by 5-10 pounds or perform exercise with no weight. Progressive overload with proper technique is the goal. It is safest to start with light weight and increase gradually.
- Change it up, drop or add equipment. For example, if your shoulder is aching while pulling with paddles, go without them. Adding fins may decrease stress and resistance on your shoulders.
- Ask your coach to watch and/or video the movement and then discuss how to improve.
Be safe and take care!