If you work in the personal training world, then you have probably witnessed clients sustain injuries at some point. Read this article to learn how to deal with those injuries.
If you work in the personal training world, then you have probably witnessed clients sustain injuries at some point. Even though you have a professional relationship with them, it's very common that you begin to become friends with your clients. With that being said, it can be heartbreaking to see your clients go through the pain of an injury.
We interviewed multiple personal trainers to help write this article.
There’s no better way to help your clients recover than by advising them to accept their situation. No matter the circumstance, you cannot deny the fact your clients are injured. You can regularly talk to your clients to help them embrace the painful truth and then the next steps are to help them get through it.
Unless you're experienced in recovery, your client will probably be working with a physical therapist.
You can help your clients recover fast by assisting them in completing their physical therapy sessions and encouraging them to perform safe/simple exercises. Over time, you can make the tasks more challenging to strengthen their stamina based on their physical therapists recommendations.
Help your clients move forward from pain by talking about happy things throughout your training sessions. Remind them of the fun times they’ve had taking trips to unforgettable faraway places with their friends and families - this will help give them a goal of a place to get back to. You can also talk to them about their favorite foods, hobbies, and interests. These can all take their mind off of the injury.
The pain will only get worse if your client over-exercises. Encourage your trainees to let you know if they feel any pain at any point in your sessions. Recovery can be a long journey and the last thing you want to do is reset the recovery process.
Some workout programs don’t pose as much risk as other programs do. It would be better to do some research about these to see how you can utilize them. If your client is typically doing power cleans, then you obviously need to find new programming that can support their new injury.
There are a lot of specialty certifications you can get that help with working on injuries. The more certifications you get - the better your workout programs will be. Speaking of workout programs, check out WeStrive's program builder to access thousands of videos & build programs faster than ever.
One of the best ways to let your clients know that you care for them is by being empathetic. You can share with them what you personally feel about their situation and how much you’re willing to help. Start by putting yourself in your client's shoes. What's it like to go through what they're going through?
Embrace your client and remind them that everything is going to be alright.
Some professionals are only concerned about making money from their jobs. These people are not compassionate at all. It’s rare to find a trainer who truly cares about their client’s welfare. By showing genuine compassion to your client, you can build trust and a strong bond. This can help speed up their recovery and lead to a potential client-for-life.
Pain is inevitable when your clients are working out while on injury, but you need to figure out the different types of pain. There's the typical pain that comes from pushing through a workout and then there's the pain that comes along with an injury.
Helping your client differentiate between the two is extremely important and you should always err on the side of caution.
Doing these exercises is not always advisable, especially if you're not certified. The success that comes from performing some advanced corrective exercises all depends on the body type of your client. Doing these exercises incorrectly can cause more harm than good.
For example, some clients don’t have a good comfortable range of motion to flex their knees. Help your clients find their range by giving a verbal cue or using your hand or a shin block. Remember to monitor your clients and don’t hesitate to call for help if the pain worsens or becomes unbearable.
Let's take lunges for example. If lunges hurt their knees, you can test out safely changing the exercise into a reverse lunge or a split squat. Apply this same logic, adjusting ranges of motions, with other exercises all across the body.
When the muscles are tight, flexibility is reduced. Your client may find it hard to move around which will make things more complicated for them. Tightness results in muscle cramps and soreness. You should make it a habit to utilize stretching exercises at the end of all your client’s workouts - and don't forget to completely warm-up before starting each program.
Having community support in times of pain lets your clients feel that they are not alone. Community will give them a sense of security and, thus, makes them more inspired to get through the injury. You can coordinate with the heads of your community in organizing activities to support people in distress.
Another option is to add them to a group chat. WeStrive offers a group chat function in our app. Add all your clients to it so they can support each other.
If you can’t help your clients get over the pain, refer them to specialists who can provide further support. You may turn to local directories or “near me searches” if you don’t know one. Of course, you can always ask the people within your network who can refer you to the right person.
Don’t rush things, as it does take time for your clients to heal from pain. Depending on the severity of the injury and how well your client copes, it may take weeks, months, or sometimes, years. What matters is you’re there to support them.
Helping clients get through pain takes a lot of effort and courage. You may take initiatives to enroll in classes if you’d like to improve your therapeutic techniques and counseling skills, so you can better assist them. All ini all, it’s never easy. But nothing is more fulfilling than seeing your client make progress and get healthy again with your help.
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About the Author:
Cory McKane is the CEO/Founder of WeStrive - a platform for personal trainers to manage & grow their personal training business. He enjoys working out and spending time working with trainers on WeStrive on how to manage/grow their business.
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