Olympic weightlifting places significant pressure on your body. Due to the tremendous mass of weight, injuries to the feet are very common, especially among amateurs. Olympic lifting is a tough sport, but strength and bravery isn't everything. In order to succeed, you must apply intellect to the barbell and learn how to recover from injuries efficiently.
Stop Training Immediately
If you ever hurt your foot, don't take any chances. Stop all physical activity immediately and apply ice to the problem area. This will reduce the inflammation. Feel free to take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen. Following the onset of pain, regularly apply heat — a hot water bottle or a warm cloth — over the next two to three days in 20 minute intervals. When the pain and swelling subsides, slowly work your way back into form by performing some light stretches, things like standing calf stretch and ankle circles.
Buy Some Weightlifting Shoes
Due to the ballistic nature of Olympic weightlifting, running shoes will not provide adequate support. Running shoes are designed to cushion the blow of repeated pounding on concrete, transferring the force from your heel to your toes. When Olympic lifting, your feet should remain firmly on the ground, otherwise you may lose your balance. In addition, you'll waste precious energy pushing down, rather than up. Invest in a proper pair of weightlifting shoes before you even consider going back to the gym.
Modify Your Routine
Do not go straight back into your usual routine. When you're completely free from pain and your flexibility is back to normal, feel free to start lifting, but reduce the load. Make sure you warm up and stretch before you begin in order to retain your optimal range of motion. Do not train your legs for consecutive days. You need to give your muscles time to recover. Two or three times per week is plenty; slowly increase your weight until you're back where you were.
Focus On Technique
Strength and flexibility come hand-in-hand. To improve your posture, technique and reduce the chance of incurring an injury, incorporate stretching into your regular routine. Pay particular focus on increasing the range of motion in your calf muscles and ankles. Don't rush. Even if you're a seasoned bodybuilder, Olympic lifting techniques will take time to master. Practice movements with the bar (yes, that means without any weight!) until you've perfected your stance, posture, movements and hand placement.
If you're recovering from a serious injury or would like to take extra precautions, seek advice from a podiatric practice before you begin, and train with a partner (or fitness instructor) who can assess your posture.