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sternum / back injuries

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    Posted: Jul 14 2009 at 9:00am
Our user asked: "Hello, I have a question to ask. I am a 35 year old male, physically active and in good shape and health. I have been taking kickboxing and boxing classes in a professional gym for about 1 ½ years. I go about 3-4 times a week, 1 hour per class, but sometimes I do 2 classes per day. It is a very intense workout given by professional fighters and instructors. All of the classes stress conditioning, so the instructors tell us to do push ups, situps, crunches, etc, in addition to the punch-kick combinations. I've never done so many situps and pushups in 1 hour! Recently I injured my sternum from what I believe was doing too many situps and pushups. It was pretty painful to move around, go to bed, and especially to sneeze. It's still a little tender so I will give it one more week, but it's been a month now since I went to class. I also strained a back muscle and had back spasms from the class as well, and that has also taken a long time to heal. I've had back injuries like this before from working out and overstraining my muscles. I really want to prevent these injuries from occurring in the future because I can't afford to miss out on a whole month or more of not taking these classes or working out. I don't believe I had these types of injuries when I was in my 20's. Should I stretch more, apply ice or heat after every class or workout, just not lift or exert as much in these classes? Thank you."

Ask a PT Response: "Higher level activities such as kickboxing and boxing classes can put alot of stress and strain on your body. I usually will have my patients build up to performing higher reps and duration so not to shock the body. If you could gradullay progress yourself to what is expected by the instructors in the classes I think you will fair better and minimize your likelihood of injury. Stretching before and after your work out can also help improve flexibility and allow for better recovery from a workout. I hope this helps. Thanks for using CyberPT."
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