You hear about it all the time. Some guy at your gym pushed himself too hard or was using improper form, now he can’t work out until his injury is healed (or worse, ever again). The truth is, there are quite a few injuries that can occur when you workout. However, there are ways to prevent common workout injuries. In this blog post we’re going to discuss some of the most common workout injuries and how you can prevent them.
Keep in mind we are not medical professionals and you should always verify with your personal physician before starting a new workout routine.
Most Common Workout Injuries
The possibility for injuries often increases depending on what type of exercises your workout entails. There are certain parts of the human body that are more prone to injuries than others. Here are some of the most common injuries that can happen when you work out:
Strained Back – This is the most common workout injury. If you sit for hours at a time at work or at home and haven’t worked out much, this injury can happen to you. When doing exercises, don’t just start at really heavy weights, work your way up gradually. And remember… always lift with your legs, not your back!
Strained Shoulder – Overuse, poor posture, and/or bad form while working out can easily dislocate your shoulder or damage your rotator cuff. If you’re feeling pain on your shoulders take a break. Gradually strengthen your shoulders by doing shoulder presses, wall push-ups or use resistant bands/tubes.
PCL/ACL Injury – these types of injuries are common in athletes, but if your workout involves jumping or changing direction rapidly, these type of knee injuries are definitely possible. A tear in your ACL or PCL often requires that you stay off of your feet for a few months. These types of injuries can be serious enough to need surgery.
Runner’s Knee – This type of injury occurs when there is an irritation of the cartilage found under your kneecaps. This happens to a lot of runners.
Achilles Tendonitis – This type of injury occurs when your tendons become irritated and tighten.
Pulled/Torn Hamstring – These types of injuries are caused by having imbalanced, overly tight, or weak leg muscles.
How to Avoid Common Workout Injuries
IT IS POSSIBLE TO MINIMIZE THE POSSIBILITY OF THESE INJURIES! Avoiding these types of injuries essentially comes down to a few key things you’ll have to remember:
Always, and We Mean ALWAYS Remember to Stretch!
Stretching is extremely important. However, you have to remember to stretch after warming up, and again at the end of your workout. This will help you maximize mobility while minimizing the possibility of a strain or tear.
Gradually Build Your Strength
Pushing your muscles way beyond their capacity can cause serious harm. This is why you should always ease into new workouts and gradually increase weights and reps. The safest way to build muscle is to do it gradually and this will ensure that your body gets stronger and adjusts to the workout with time. Start at a lower intensity and work your way up, for example, walk until you can jog, and jog until you can run.
Always Use Proper Equipment and Form
It’s not about how fast or slow you do your workout, it’s about how WELL you do it. You don’t get any benefit from doing exercises the wrong way. In fact, you can really hurt yourself. Take the time to learn proper form and exercise it! You can learn proper form by doing some research online or asking an experienced trainer to show you. It may be worth spending the extra money on one training session just to learn proper form for everything you’re doing.
Let Your Body Rest and Recover
When you work out your muscles and the rest of your body is going to feel it. It’s important to get enough hours of sleep and to take a break from working out. You NEED a rest day. Working out 7 days a week every single week of the month can not only lead to fatigue, it can lead to serious injury. Make sure you fuel your body with healthy food and always get proper rest.
No one is immune to injury. It can take a split second, one bad decision, one bad move, and you can suddenly be faced with a serious injury. Take things slow, build up your strength gradually, use the right form, and allow your body to recover. By doing these things you’ll minimize the possibility for injury.