Injury Downtime and Detraining

Detraining is a loss of physiological adaptations improved through exercise due to cessation of activity. Detraining can occur for many different reasons such as loss of motivation or injury. Given the rate at which detraining can occur, how vital is early intervention post injury? A period of 3-6 weeks without performing exercise is enough to significantly decrease strength that has been gained through physical activity. Training as little as once per week has been shown to be effective at retaining strength gains, however more sessions are required for improvements.

Decreases in cardiovascular fitness due to detraining decrease at a faster rate than strength. This has important implications if we sustain an injury and have an active lifestyle or job role. Time spent away from exercise due to injury, of as little as 3-4 weeks, can see decreases of cardiovascular endurance of up to 25%. Flexibility can decrease up to 30% after 4 weeks of inactivity.

Due to the fast rate that we may lose strength, endurance and flexibility, it is important to continue exercise using alternative methods that may not exacerbate the injury. For information regarding individual programmes tailored to your injury, please contact an Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Absolute Balance by emailing or head to our website

ryangRyan Gibson (B.Sc. – Exercise Physiology)

Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (ESSAM)

P 9244 5580 – M  0429 144 542  – F 9244 5582



Retrieved 10th July 2017,, The Science Of Detraining: How Long You Can Take A Break From The Gym Before You Lose Muscle Mass, Strength, And Endurance, 1/12/2017