I hear this question often. "When can I _____?" Get back to running. Return to my fitness class. Lift weights. Play basketball. My answer is always the same. How do you move? Do you have pain? If the answers are that you move dysfunctionally and with pain, you will never hear me say, "Sure, go right ahead." But why not? After all, the things you want to get back to are all good for you and healthy activities, right?
Foundation. That is why. Never build on shaky ground. Establish a solid foundation, and build from that. Never attempt to build fitness where there is pain or dysfunction. Trying to do "good things" before your body is ready really means the things you are regarding as good are actually bad.
For example, I think everyone can acknowledge that push-ups and plank variations can be two of the best upper body & core exercises you can do. As far as squats, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better and more functional lower body exercise (except maybe the lunge). So, should you just do them and work through your struggles or challenges? Should you do as many as you can and tough it out? NO. Why would I want anyone to repetitiously move through these patterns? Look at the plank/pushup picture: Her neck hanging and straining. She is sagging her head, neck and shoulder AND overarching her back. Now look at the squat picture: The knees are caving inside of the feet. and with very little depth.
The cons outweighed the pros by a landslide. Form depicts function. In other words, form always matters. Can we get away with poor form? Sure. But likely, you are operating less efficiently, likely compensating for a strength or motion deficit somewhere, and you are more at risk for injury or pain.
So, the message is: Running isn't good. Lifting weights aren't good. Yoga isn't good. MOVING WELL IS GOOD. If you move well, then you are ready to improve your fitness with things like running, Yoga, Zumba, etc. Pushing yourself and challenging your physical capabilities is enormously beneficial. Look at your movement patterns to help determine if your basic motor control is a concern. I will continue showing how to move foundationally and how to help yourself improve your movements.
If you are interested in learning more about how your body moves and how you can help yourself achieve the goals of pain reduction, check out my ________________________.