Martins Licis Will Take Eight Months Off From Competition to Recover From Sciatica

Following a competition hiatus through 2023, the 2019 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Martins Licis made his pro strongman comeback at the 2024 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC) to an underwhelming eighth-place finish. 

Licis was scheduled to compete at the 2024 WSM contest on May 1-5, 2024, in Myrtle Beach, SC, but withdrew three weeks before the contest due to sciatica, a condition that causes pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling sensations in the leg. 

Licis acknowledged that continuing to compete at the top level of the sport while battling sciatica could increase the risk of his long-term health. He appeared on his YouTube series “Strength Unknown” to share an update regarding his strength while recovering:

“I’ve pushed through a lot of injuries, often winning shows despite the protest of pain echoing through all the joints of my body,” said Licis. “In January [2024], when sciatica hit, I developed an ego and thought I could push through it.”

Licis took a much different approach to recovery in the past and relied on physical therapy to manage his injuries. Licis’ sciatica flared up on day one of the 2024 ASC warm-ups. He couldn’t put weight on his right leg, making standing difficult.

I went into a frantic, messy space in my head. I could not…get myself back in the game.

The Latvian-American strongman squashed retirement speculation and reiterated his commitment to the recovery period. “I know better not to push through an injury that keeps getting worse, so I’ll give it some time and respect and focus on getting better,” said Licis. This injury has forced Licis to re-evaluate his competitive strongman career and future goals.

Although Licis’ decision to withdraw from the 2024 WSM contest was a setback, he is using this time to pursue other creative endeavors, such as painting and documenting strength’s influence on different cultures through his YouTube channel. 

“It’s heartbreaking for me not to compete right now,” confessed Licis. “I know deep down inside that I want to come back and win again, but I cannot sleep on this injury.”

Licis will compete next at the 2024 Rogue Strongman Invitational, set for Nov. 8-10 in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Featured image: @martinslicis on Instagram

The post Martins Licis Will Take Eight Months Off From Competition to Recover From Sciatica appeared first on BarBend.


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