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Try This 5-Minute Recovery Workout To Ease Back Into Exercise After Injury

Written by on December 15, 2021

You’re reading Move, the nudge we need to get active, however makes us happiest and healthiest.

Returning to exercise after injury takes time, whether you’re a professional sportsperson or an amateur who’s pushed training a little too far. 

It’s something Harlequins rugby player Joe Gray knows all too well, having dislocated his knee early in his career. But now, the hooker has over 170 club appearances to his name and is co-founder of sports recovery technology brand MyoMaster.

If you want to get back to exercising after injury, “the key is to be patient with yourself,” says Gray.

“It’s often tempting to return to the exercise you love as quickly as possible but that will most likely result in further injury and hampered performance, taking the time to let your body heal and really recover will allow you to come back stronger,” he tells HuffPost UK. “We recommend carving out at least 20 minutes every day to work on your rehab.”

If 20 minutes in one go is too much, you can easily break this up into four, five-minute sessions throughout your day. Complete them on your lunch break, or while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil between meetings. Here, Gray gives some ideas to get started. 


“Walking is a great low impact activity to ease you back into training after an injury. Carve out time to do this daily and gradually increase the distance every three to four days.”


“This exercise engages a lot of the leg muscles, lower back and core so is great for building up strength. Ensure your feet are slightly wider than shoulder width, sit back as if you were going to sit in a chair but keep your knees pushed outwards. You should lower your body to a comfortable height and then stand back up, completely straightening the legs. Repeat this 10 times.”


“This exercise works your abdominals and core muscles. Lie flat on your back, bend your knees to a 90 degree angle, lift your hands so they are facing the ceiling. Extend your left leg sliding your heel along the floor and simultaneously extend your right arm so it is flat by your ear. Repeat eight on each side.”

Kneeling press ups 

“This will increase your upper body strength, particularly your chest and arms and your core. Place your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart. From your knees, lower your torso to the ground until your elbows form a 90 degree angle. Push back up with the palms of your hands. Repeat this exercise eight to 10 times.”

Move celebrates exercise in all its forms, with accessible features encouraging you to add movement into your day – because it’s not just good for the body, but the mind, too. We get it: workouts can be a bit of a slog, but there are ways you can move more without dreading it. Whether you love hikes, bike rides, YouTube workouts or hula hoop routines, exercise should be something to enjoy.

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