No pain, no gain! You’ve heard it before right? While this may be the mantra for most sportsmen and athletes, this saying doesn’t always fit well in the gym.
The reason: A muscle or ligament tear, tendonitis, a dislocated joint or a fracture from dropping a kettlebell on your foot. This will not only result in painful suffering but may also need a trip to the doctor’s office. Need a long recovery period, thus slowing down your progress.
While most exercise-related injuries occur among athletes, runners, bodybuilders and military recruits.
The anticipation for getting a rock-solid, enviable body amongst exercise newbies can also increase such individuals’ risk of injuries. This is mainly due to lack of guidance and experience and the eagerness to get results too quickly.
Injuries are classified into two types: traumatic injuries and cumulative injuries.
Traumatic injuries can occur any day, such as rolling the ankle. Cumulative injuries involve tissue damage that progress with repetitive stress. These slowly impair your body’s functions causing problems such as…
- improper training
- inadequate posture
- faulty movement, and form etc.
Luckily gaining some knowledge can reduce your risk of exercise-related injuries.
Your best bet would be to learn the most common causes of exercise injuries and try your best to prevent them.
1. Incorrect training techniques
Most exercise injuries are associated with poor exercise technique, especially while weight lifting. Improper technique can rapidly cause pulled, torn or ripped connective tissues.
For example, when you try to handle a barbell without control or concentration! Your action can cause a negative reaction in the form of an instant injury.
If you’re new at the gym, make sure you train with a personal trainer. So you can learn the proper exercise techniques and respect your equipment and the movements involved inadequate training. It means no jerking, contorting, twisting or turning while pushing weights.
Practice with lightweights or focus on perfecting your technique before you jump to the main workout.
2. Lifting too heavy
A weightlifting is a high-risk form of training.
Dropping a heavy weight on your foot may result in an obvious injury but it is possible to weight train incorrectly too, as mentioned above.
Inability to control a weight while moving it down or having to jerk a weight to lift it. This can go against the biomechanical boundaries of your limbs, thus causing an injury.
Any mass seeks the floor due to gravity, thus, allowing a weight to pull you instead of you pulling it can cause danger.
3. Not stretching before and after a workout
Make sure you stretch for 5 to 10 minutes before your warm-up.
Calf raises, hammy curls, crunches, squats, curls and bench presses are excellent choices for a pre-workout and post-workout stretch.
Stretching helps to elongate and relaxing muscles and is recommended to be performed before and after every workout.
4. Not warming up
No, stretching is not a warm-up routine. A warm-up is a short, quick-paced, high-rep and low-intensity routine that “warms” your muscles up and increases blood flow to them.
It’s called a warm-up because of the low-intensity. A quick exercise increases the temperature of the muscles involved and thus, decreases the viscosity of blood.
This increases mobility and flexibility because warm muscles with rich blood flow are more elastic as compared to cold muscles which tend to be stiffer.
Swimming, stair climbing, jogging, cycling, and rowing are excellent choices suitable for warming up.
Stretching and warming up can reduce injuries associated with muscle stiffness and help improve your exercise intensity.
5. Exercising too much
Training more is awesome but it is possible to train too much.
Overtraining can have a negative impact on your body’s level of conditioning and strength. Moreover, overtraining zaps energy slows down progress and also increases the risk of injury.
It can interfere with your nervous system’s and muscles’ ability to strengthen and improve.
Excessive training can deplete your ATP and glycogen stores, thus weakening your body and making it more prone to injury.
In order to reduce your risk, make enough room for rest during the course of your routine and reassess your session length.
References: 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8450721 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12409811 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2183329 4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7809556