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Benefits of Strength Training Before and After Surgery

by | Dec 29, 2020 | Fitness, Fitness for Older Adults, Health

woman using leg press machine to rehab knees

Over 50 million Americans undergo surgery each year, and about 1.1 million of those surgeries involve having a hip or knee replacement. While the thought of going through joint replacement surgery can be scary, there are some things you can do to prepare yourself physically before undergoing the operation that can help improve the outcome – and speed along your recovery after.

Why Should I Strength Train Before Surgery?

No one likes to think about adding another thing to their pre-surgery checklist, but fitness should definitely play an important role. Cardio conditioning and strength training can help you with needed weight loss and boost your immune system. “Pre-habilitation” or “prehab” can set the stage for a quicker recovery time.

Strengthening muscles in advance of surgery will help get a head start on the rehabilitation that occurs afterward. For example, when looking at knee replacement it’s important to condition the muscles that support the knees. Exercises that concentrate on range of motion and strengthening your quadriceps, hamstring and hip muscles will all help prepare you for surgery, especially joint replacement.


Strength Training After Surgery

After surgery, patients are typically referred to physical therapy (PT). What a lot of people don’t realize is that PT is its own form of strength training. The goal is to help you learn to move again after surgery. A lot of the time that involves using and strengthening muscles that don’t move the same way they once did, but in a new -and often times better- way.

Once PT has finished, it’s important, with clearance from your doctor, to continue strength training on your own. One-on-one personal training is perfect for this journey. Personal trainers are specially trained to modify movements and make accommodations to ensure you are both exercising safely and still getting the full benefit of the workout. Super slow strength training is especially well suited to post-operative workouts because it is low impact. It puts less stress on those muscles and bones which helps to prevent injury while you recover.


Strength Training and Rehab Can Go Hand in Hand

Many times, people are reluctant to continue their regular exercise routine while they are undergoing rehab because they are afraid of either further injuring themselves or undoing the work PT is accomplishing. There’s no reason to sit on the couch waiting for your body to recover! You can safely work out with a certified personal trainer – they always have your best interest at heart and will know how to prevent injury. They will work with you to avoid putting stress on certain body parts while still allowing you to exercise the unaffected ones.

Personal trainers are also a good resource of encouragement and support. If you’re not motivated or struggling to do your at-home PT exercises, they make a great partner to help ensure you are doing the stretches and exercises correctly for successful results.


The great thing about working with Loyalty Fitness is that all of our trainers are certified and experienced in pre- and post-operative super slow strength training. They are here to make sure that your workout is safe and effective to help support your recovery efforts.

Contact us to learn more about the benefits of working out privately with a personal trainer at our Syosset, NY or Greenwich, CT fitness studio. Interested in working out at home? We also offer virtual personal training!

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