We have an injury and we receive the well-intended advice to “discontinue strength training.” This recommendation is rooted in the very genesis of strength training as a form of exercise. When the average doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist (and let’s face it, anyone for that matter), thinks about the true roots of strength training, they think power lifting or Olympic weight-lifting.
Power-lifting is the competitive sport of bench pressing, squatting, and deadlifting heavy weights. If you have an injury, an ache or pain, or are recovering from a surgery, you absolutely should NOT be competing in power lifting. Frankly, even if we are healthy it probably isn’t safe to engage in powerlifting. But, powerlifting and the image evoked when so many people think about weight lifting (and some of the more popular fitness trends that are rooted in power and Olympic weight lifting) is a far cry from properly performed resistance training.
Properly performed resistance training is therapeutic for not only our muscles but also our bones and connective tissue. Properly performed resistance training is the anecdote for arthritis, osteoporosis, and a myriad of muscular-skeletal ailments. If we lift and lower a weight slowly and thus avoid momentum, we maximize the tension placed on our muscles while minimizing the forces placed on our joints. Combine this with the correct form, body position, and safe range of joint motion, and we have the safest form of exercise known to man. From a global health perspective, discontinuing strength training is likely the worst recommendation for healthy aging.
Caveat: If your Physician has diagnosed a specific, acute, cardiovascular abnormality/musculoskeletal issue, or something of this nature, clearly you should heed your physician’s advice. My objective above is not to provide medical advice (I am not qualified), but instead, to encourage the reader to abandon a paradigm of haphazard and dangerous strength training and move toward a therapeutic approach to resistance training.