Making A Comeback: How to Return Safely Return to Muay Thai Kickboxing & Martial Arts Training Following an Injury
By Ryan McKinnon
Youʼve been sidelined for weeks after suffering an injury in your muay thai kickboxing and martial arts training. You underwent physio, and have finally received your doctorʼs blessing to return to Training. Now what? How do you get back in the game without making the same mistake? This article will cover how to make a comeback and avoid the pitfalls that put most people on the self imposed disabled list.
Ego check. The first thing to do is check your ego. Chances are it was your hardheaded
determination and unwillingness to listen to your body that caused your injury in
the first place. You need to slow down, and take your time as you attempt to reach your
previous fitness level. Your first day back to Muay Thai Kickboxing and Martial Arts training wonʼt be glorious. It will probably feel somewhat discouraging as you try to reach your previous rep numbers. You have to let all of that go. You are coming in as a brand new, smarter, person. You have to learn from your previous mistakes, and use that newfound knowledge to create a better version of the person that was injured. Typically, we only focus on our bodies when they are injured. Now is the best time to adopt a new relationship with your body.
Do your exercises. A lot of injuries stem from a weakness in the body.
Overdeveloped muscles put strain on smaller muscles that were ignored in your
previous training regimen. If you went to physio, which I highly recommend, the doctors
probably identified a deficiency in your anatomy, and have given you exercises to help
strengthen the weak areas. You need to make that a priority. Before you begin a Muay Thai Kickboxing or Martial Arts workout, make sure to set time aside to work on the problem areas. Training our strengths is easy. The hard work comes from training our weaknesses. But thatʼs what makes a better muay thai kickboxing athlete & martial artist, and is a valuable lesson that can be applied to our lives outside the dojo. Train your weaknesses more often.
Listen to your coach. Your coach is a coach for a reason. Tell them about your
injury, and allow them to create a training plan for you that is tailored to improving your
weak areas and get you back into killer shape. A good coach will monitor your progress,
and provide insight into when you can push yourself, and when you need to take a rest.
Donʼt ignore your coachʼs advice. They have seen many students injure themselves,
and have relevant experience that will benefit you if youʼre willing to listen. Make sure to disclose how youʼre feeling that day before you begin a workout. Not doing so may
result in you going back to the doctor. Avoid repeating the injury cycle by communicating with your coaching staff.
Eat better. Eating anti-inflammatory foods are always a good idea. Processed
foods inflame the body, especially our joints. When our bodies are inflamed, we feel
sluggish and immobile. Talk to your coach or a nutritionist about a diet that fits your
lifestyle. Alternatively, educate yourself about anti-inflammatory foods. Make a meal
plan. Prepare your meals in advance to avoid mistakes, and exercise discipline with
Go to sleep! Rest is one of the most neglected aspects of an athleteʼs lifestyle.
Athletes are typically high energy people that are always keeping themselves busy.
Therefore, athletes and martial artists rarely set time aside for adequate rest. If youʼre an active person,you need 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. Your body heals itself when youʼre sleeping. If youʼre healing from injury, you definitely need sleep. Avoid drinking alcohol,caffeinated beverages, and sugary drinks before bed so you can rest comfortably. Invest 30 minutes to stretch your body out before bed. Meditate or take 5 minutes to quietly visualize what you will accomplish tomorrow. Make the time before you go to bed a peaceful ritual. It will have amazing benefits when it comes to healing your body after an injury.
Stay focused. Some days will be very discouraging. You will beat yourself up
mentally for allowing yourself to get injured. You will watch other athletes surpass you in skill level. You will reflect back on the shape you were in before you got injured. All of
this may depress you, and cause you to go off track. You need to stay focused on your
goals, mainly to avoid injuring yourself again. This has to become a priority. Focus on
being better each day, and you will. Itʼs not always about the numbers. Itʼs about
knowing yourself, and being able to improve where you can.
Coming back from injury is one of the toughest things a Muay Thai Kickboxing athletes and Martial Artist can do. It requires a specific attitude that is committed to improvement, and free of ego. If you follow the above mentioned training tips, you will stay in the gym longer, and out of the doctorʼs office. Before you know it, you will be better than you were before you injured yourself, only more educated about your own body. Stay focused and committed on
Ryan McKinnon is the host of The Bloody Ballet Podcast, and writes articles for his own
website, www.thebloodyballet.com He is also a Muay Thai instructor at
www.mississaugaelite.com. Follow him @thebloodyballet on Facebook and Instagram