It happens to the best of us; we get excited to start a new gym routine, but before we can really get going – bam! – we’re injured. It can be so frustrating – this cycle of working out, getting injured, and taking time off before working out again – but there are ways to avoid some common gym injuries and it all starts by knowing what your risks are.
Gym Injury Causes And Risks
1. Cause Of Injury: Doing Too Much Too Soon
Who is at Risk: Everybody has been guilty of this at one time or another. It’s hard to hold yourself back when you’re starting something new and it’s so fun and doesn’t seem too difficult! But, even the simplest of exercises require adaptations from your body, and you can’t change the timeline on when those adaptations will occur. Your body might need weeks or even months of carefully planned increases in activity before it’s ready to take on the load that your brain wanted from the start.
Dangers: Doing too much too soon can lead to injuries such as stress fractures, tendinitis, and torn muscles or ligaments.
Warning Signs: Any unusual pains, aches, or tenderness, particularly near the joints
2. Cause Of Injury: Using Weights That Are Too Heavy
Who is at Risk: Those who are eager to see strength gains may fall into this trap. But again, the body can only adapt to a certain amount of stress at a time (and your body sees weight lifting as a stressor). Moving up in weights to build muscle tone takes patience – usually at least six weeks of practice before changing weights.
Dangers: Lifting weights that are too heavy for your current fitness can lead to back strain, other muscle strains or tears, and hernias.
Warning Signs: Extreme muscle fatigue or sharp pains during and after lifting weights, particularly in the lower back or lower abdomen
3. Cause Of Injury: Overuse / Repetitive Stress
Who is at Risk: Somebody who has found a particular love for just one exercise may be injured. Running or lifting weights are both great for your health, but not if one of them is the only thing you do day after day. Your body requires rest and variety to be truly healthy. Make sure your routine is balanced with several activities that you enjoy.
Dangers: Overtraining can lead to exhaustion, burnout, muscle fatigue, shin splints, and joint sprains or strains.
Warning Signs: Fatigue, depression, sharp or unusual pains during and after activity
4. Cause of Injury: Bad Form
Who is at Risk: New exercisers who don’t have a lot of experience or aren’t seeking the advice of a qualified trainer may be at risk. All exercises should be performed in a particular manner to be effective as well as safe, and using bad form is one of the fastest ways to sustain an injury.
Dangers: Not using correct form can lead to knee, shoulder, hip, or ankle problems, sprains and strains, tendinitis and worse.
Warning Signs: Unfortunately, this extremely common problem often has no warning signs before you are injured
Injury Vs. Regular Soreness Or Aches
- Regular muscle soreness from a good, tough workout goes away in less than three days.
- Muscle aches are not sharp and do not take your breath away.
- If you experience swelling, bleeding, bruising, or pain that doesn’t stop when you stop exercising, aches or tenderness that doesn’t go away in three days, see your doctor.
How To Avoid Injury
- Pay attention to your surroundings and what you are doing.
- Be patient with your progress.
- Always brace your core.
- Seek the advice and assistance of a professional trainer.