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Learn how we do things and how you can help yourself with some rehab tips from our physios. Blogs are written by our expert therapists with a total of over 30 years of clinical experience in the physiotherapy field. Also, get some insights into our company and follow us on our journey to heal the world.

  • Writer's pictureRaymond Trinh

How I Fixed My "Broken Body"

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

In the past, I always had the mentality of going to the gym and doing my big, heavy lifts straightway so I could get the job done and get out of there as soon as I could. I never went through a proper warm-up, neglected stretching and always avoided doing any type of mobility work. The goal was just to throw heavy weights around and eventually my body paid the price.

Having trained for the past 10 years, I often dismissed my aches and pain perhaps mistakenly for “DOMS”, telling myself it was the result of hard-work and going to the gym consistently 5 days a week. Yes I was getting bigger muscles and yes I was getting stronger in certain areas, but was it all worth it?

Despite being active with good overall health, I could feel the decline in my body’s physical functioning where it started to affect my everyday life. I could not hold objects above shoulder height for more than a few minutes, and I couldn't wear a backpack for 15 minutes without feeling pain. Yet, I could shoulder press 60kg over my head.

Person front squatting 60kg in the gym

You often hear people that go to the gym say that their body is “broken”. How many people actually make a change to their training or even seek help? I have been guilty of this myself. Often we just go back to routine and continue to hammer ourselves at the gym instead of addressing our problems.

I always thought I hit every muscle in my body. Like most, I had chest Monday, back Tuesdays, shoulders on Wednesday, arms Thursdays and legs on Friday. But with all these conventional lifts that you often see people do at the gym, it doesn’t always target every specific muscle. What I also did not realise is that I was not always engaging the right muscles during certain exercises. I therefore compensated with other muscles due to weakness or because I lacked the necessary mobility. This caused me to feel stiff with major strength imbalances and over time I felt pain all over my body.

It was not until I started studying & practicing physiotherapy that I finally understood the importance of taking care of my body, and how I learnt to fix my 'broken body'. Since then, I have changed my training by spending the first 5-10 minutes of my session focusing on my mobility. From there, I spend another 10 minutes doing isolated activation exercises (such as rotator cuff exercises) to warm up my muscles and address some weaknesses to ensure they are engaged before my big compound lifts.

The big difference is now my lifting numbers and drive for aesthetics no longer matter to me. What matters is how I feel with my body and ensuring I can move efficiently to reach my full functional potential. The changes I have made have made a world of difference and I no longer feel pain.

You may be wondering what are some of the exercises that helped me fix my pain with training? See my instagram post below where I show my favourite shoulder & back exercises to do before an upper body workout.

Physiotherapist Ray demonstrating a shoulder exercise with a foam roller against the wall

If you feel pain, stiffness, soreness, lack mobility, lack strength, unsure of how to engage certain muscles, or just simply feel that something is not right with your body, then seek professional help. Don't wait for pain to become a long-standing issue like myself.

Your physio,

Raymond Trinh | @fxnlrehab

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