How To Prevent Common Workout Injuries
May 5th, 2020 by Candis Hall
Working out is not all about lifting weights but staying healthy in general. That’s why getting hurt in the gym or while exercising at home are huge downers for leading a healthy lifestyle.
The stress of a physical injury is greater for non-professional athletes who risk losing motivation for exercising. For this reason, it is extremely important to take preventive measures to avoid workout injuries.
Don’t lift heavy weights
If you are a novice to exercising or you have recently experienced an injury, you should start light when it comes to weightlifting. Experienced bodybuilders know that lifting weights over their maximum capacity can easily result in an injury.
The heavy weights themselves cannot hurt you but you lose the ability to control the movement of your muscles and you can easily drop a dumbbell. For example, if you pick up heavy weights for an overhead raise, an exercise used to strengthen shoulder muscles, you might drop the weight directly on the crown of your head. For this reason, it is always smarter to grab lighter weights and work our way up.
Speaking of exercising in the gym, you are likely to be surrounded by other people there. In general, having an exercise buddy is a good idea to stay motivated and to prevent injuries. Exercises like squats or the bench press are associated with heavy loads so having a spotter helps a lot.
A spotter can be a person you see for the first time in your life but they need to timely execute their job. Namely, they should be able to estimate when you need help because often enough, you will not be able to speak during the final rep. Quite obviously, choose a strong person as a spotter.
High levels of motivation are desirable in fitness but they can sometimes backfire on you. Namely, people are sometimes too eager to gain muscle mass fast so they train more often than necessary. A basic fact every bodybuilder knows about muscles is that they grow during sleep, i.e. while you rest.
Your diet and training sessions themselves are nothing more than stimuli for the muscles to grow so don’t overwork our body. Allowing your body to recuperate after an intensive training session is among the top injury preventers. After practice, your body is weak and vulnerable, aiming it susceptible to everything from a virus to a strained ligament.
Stretch before every workout
Another reason why you might be susceptible to injury is the fact you skippered stretching before a workout. When timely executed, stretching relaxes and elongates muscles after a warm-up and before an intensive training session.
Basically, when you stretch, you warm up all the muscles making them elongated. As a result, the muscles in your body become pliant and injury-resistant. The two main types of stretching are dynamic and static stretching. These are used for everything from stretching for a run to warming-up for exercising in the gym.
The importance of a good warm-up
Now, before stretching and the actual training session, you need to warm up well. You probably know all about the importance of a warm-up but did you know that it should be done properly in order to prevent injuries?
Most people make the mistake of cutting the warm-up short. If you wish to power-lift for one hour, then your warm-up should not be shorter than 10 minutes. It’s important to execute the warm-up in a single, non-stop sequence: squat, leg curl, calf raise, crunch, pull-down, curl, bench press, etc. Warm-ups are usually done without resting between reps.
Work on your technique
Another common factor that contributes to workout injuries is the use of an incorrect technique. Due to a poor exercise technique, a muscle can become twisted, wrenched or ever ripped, resulting in a painful injury.
If you cannot control a barbell that is not too heavy, then know you are doing something wrong and need to correct your technique. You can pick up advice on the matter from experiences bodybuilders or head online where you can watch YouTube videos on how to apply a proper exercise technique.
You are what you eat
If you want to build up your muscle mass, then you need to increase the intake of proteins. You get these proteins from food so no wonder people say “you are what you eat.” However, a proper diet is important for a physically active person for another reason.
Namely, if you’re not eating enough food or hitting the gym when you are starving, the chances of injuring yourself increase substantially. Don’t get us wrong, you shouldn’t overeat either; just make sure you are not on any sort of a diet before taking up heavy exercising.
Concentrate on fitness goals
If you have ever watched a professional bodybuilding competition, then you might have noticed that those brawny men and women have one thing in common: the utmost mental focus. Building mental strength is just as important as building your muscles.
While running, bodybuilding, or cycling, you shouldn’t allow yourself to be easily distracted. The ability to concentrate on fitness goals will allow you to put the maximum of thought and energy in the exercises beforehand so you significantly reduce the risk of injury.
As you have seen from our advice, avoiding workout injuries isn’t that hard. Essentially, you just do what you would normally do while exercising but take extra care. From warming-up, across dieting right, all the way to stretching long enough, these steps serve to prevent fitness-related injuries.