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Get Sport-Specific at the Gym

Tailor Your Workout

Workouts for Special Situations

Suppose you're going back to exercise after surgery. T.R. Goodman, a certified personal trainer who works out of Gold's Gym in Venice, Calif., helped actor James Caan after surgery on his shoulder. They went through a series of steps starting with assisted movements, so the muscle fibers would get exercise without being overstrained. Then they used gentle stretching motions, and then repetitive work with very light medicine balls.

"After surgery you have to think of the area as if it has its own identity -- as if it's an infant, weak and afraid," Goodman says. "You have to convince the muscles they can function again in an uninhibited way, that other muscles don't have to compensate."

Workouts after a sports injury vary, Goodman says, depending on the specific joint and injury. General principles include rest and anti-inflammatories at first.

"Then you have look at the underlying causes," he says. "There may be a problem in movement patterns that can be corrected through appropriate exercises and muscle strengthening."

The New Orleans clinic also offers a wellness program for discharged medical patients, who still want to work out but aren't comfortable in a fitness center atmosphere. Even people who're recovering from serious illnesses can and should work out, Baudry says.

 "After cancer treatment you're feeling run down, so it's important to do something to get your heartbeat up," he says. "Get moving. Even a little bit can be important in maintaining strength and helps your outlook."

Staying Fit During Pregnancy

If you're pregnant and haven't been working out, this probably isn't a good time to start, says Yvonne Bennett, a certified personal trainer and president of Fit2Fit.com.

"Talk with your obstetrician and discuss your options," she advises. Walking and gentle stretching are among the safest and most beneficial choices in this case, she says.

On the other hand, women who have been working out can continue to do a modified workout while pregnant. Bennett herself continued to work with free weights, bench training, and yoga stretches while she was pregnant.

"I did have to slow down aerobic training -- no more than 20 minutes on the bicycle. And after you enter the fourth month, you shouldn't do any exercises lying on your back," she says.

But even if you're an experienced athlete, she stresses, you should still discuss your exercise program with your obstetrician.

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