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Rory Lindo leads a Rock ‘n’ Roar fitness class. (Tim Fraser for The Globe and Mail)
Rory Lindo leads a Rock ‘n’ Roar fitness class. (Tim Fraser for The Globe and Mail)

Is it possible to stay active and battle an injury? Add to ...

Rory Lindo, Toronto-based clothing designer of Doll Factory by Damzels, craves motivation from music. But having exercised in group classes for 20 years, she rebelled against the bland beats of Top 40 hits and decided to get certified as an instructor and fashion her own approach to fitness. Now she leads group sessions called Rock ‘n’ Roar that use rock star moves (and an alternative-tunes soundtrack) to give music fans a high-energy workout. But her playful spirit threatens to overwhelm her recovery. She’s in pain as a consequence of a recent fall, wondering if exercising with an injury is harmful or helpful.

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My goal

“I sell dresses for living and I like to look as good in them as I can.”

My workout

“I’m usually at the gym five days a week. I get to hot yoga. I lift weights, the heavier the better. I teach two times a week for 50 minutes. It’s a high-energy class listening to classic staples from Kiss, Van Halen to Journey, Metallica and the Black Keys to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

“I use drumsticks as a resistance tool and as a device to accelerate heart rate, air drumming while doing squats and lunges keeping arms up for four minutes while constantly moving the sticks. We use resistance balls in a bin and bang them, so some nights you hear ‘rah-rah-rah, rat-a-tat-tat.’ We do moves to open the shoulder and the back as if you’re Pete Townsend playing guitar. We do moves like ‘rock the stage,’ where you put up double horns with your hands, as well as push-ups, squats, dragon walks. We do the ‘mosh pit,’ where we all jump and scream.

“But I recently tore a bunch of ligaments in my ankle on the outside of my left leg after falling down three stairs; there’s still pain. I did this 16 weeks ago. They said it’s going be 12 weeks before I’m better, and I pshawed, but hot yoga, in particular, is difficult getting back into.”

My lifestyle

As for nutrition, “I’m good 80 per cent of the time and give myself a break 20 per cent of the time. I cook everything I eat; I rarely go out or order take-out, because if I go out a lot I do put on a few extra pounds. I eat three meals day; I start with high-fibre cereal or slow-cook oatmeal, for lunch a homemade Greek chicken, lemon soup with spinach and brown rice, for dinner I have a pork loin with sweet potatoes in a tomato-based stew in the slow cooker, and I have two snacks a day, like pita and hummus, or an apple and cheese. In the evening I have a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich.”

My motivation

“Everyone in my family is very fit; we go to the gym everyday. We love it.”

My anthem

I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll by Joan Jett; she’s got great shoulders.”

My challenge

“I sit a lot in my job, be it sitting at a sewing machine, sitting to finish dresses or sitting behind a desk when I’m selling at the store. And keeping aches and pains of being fit away.”

THE CRITIQUE

Heather Robinson, certified athletic therapist in Sport CARE at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, says the fact that Ms. Lindo still has pain suggests the ankle has some weakness and instability.

Strengthen ankle through rehab

“Once ligaments are stretched, they don’t ever recoil, so if it was a bad enough strain Rory will have some ligament looseness to the ankle. The most important exercise is using a theraband where she’s pushing the foot outward, called eversion. That strengthens peroneal muscles, which stabilize the ankle when the ligaments can’t. I suggest Rory build strength up above what was normal so she doesn’t rely on the ligaments for stability, and I suggest three sets of 10, seven days a week, once or twice a day.”

Retrain proprioceptive sense

“Rory needs to retrain muscle, ligaments, nerves, and joint receptors, to know what is the normal position to be in. Once these are injured they lose where they are in space. Start with upright standing on a hard floor in bare feet holding balance on one foot with eyes open for 20 to 30 seconds. If that’s easy go to forward leaning like an airplane, then backward leaning, if that’s easy then eyes closed, then Rory moves to a Bosu, and then eventually goes into dynamic balance exercises where she’s jumping onto the foot or skipping back and forth, so that ankle is ready to do that. It takes four weeks for muscles to learn what you want them to do, eight to 12 weeks to get the strength.”

This interview has been condensed and edited.

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