It’s difficult to scroll through social media pages without seeing images of home exercise HIIT sessions, exercise tips and all forms of home-made exercise contraptions. We LOVE it! In a time of worry and uncertainty, any form of exercise that might help alleviate stress and bring some form of normality to our lives is a welcome. For some, the concept of body weight exercises and HIIT sessions is quite new. The beauty of this form of exercise is that there is little equipment or space required and so it’s a great option to exercise while staying at home. If done correctly, you get a tremendous amount of gain from your pain. And by pain, I’m talking about that wonderful muscular burning feeling you get when you’re on those final reps of an exercise.

For some though, it might be the other type of pain – the one that might suggest there is something wrong. The type of pain that prevents you from walking down the stairs or getting up from a seated position. It’s sharp, and nagging and doesn’t want to let you exercise. Why now you might ask?

Returning to a form of exercise that you have not done for a while, or starting a new type of exercise that you are not used to can pose its short term problems. In order to help stay injury free, our bodies tissue takes time to build up a capacity to withstand load. By increasing the intensity and frequency of a new exercises gradually, we can condition our bodies tissues to become stronger and avoid tissue breakdown and injury. However, if you do too much too soon, this can cause pain. The good news is, these types of pain don’t generally last too long.

So, if you have experienced pain during you HIIT session here’s what to do:
1. Rest from exercise until all normal daily activities are pain free. Depending on the severity this can be anything from 24 hours to one or two weeks.
2. Once your pain settles, return to the original exercise program you were following.
3. Cut the program intensity by 50%. Evaluate how you felt after – if you feel OK, take 24 hours rest and repeat the session again. Slowly increase the reps per session until you can complete the whole session pain free.

If your pain does not settle with rest or you are struggling to return to exercise, if might be helpful to speak to a physio. With an online consult, your physio can assess your technique to ensure it is not resulting in injury. They will be able to identify if there are structures that are tight or weak and be able to give you exercises to help this.