If you have ever spent a long and strenuous session at the gym working out, only to discover the next day that you overexerted yourself, strained a muscle or twisted an ankle, you may be wondering how to prevent these common workout injuries in the future. People enjoy going to the gym for a wide range of reasons, from professional bodybuilders training for their next title, to new mothers trying to shed that pesky baby weight. However, all of us are susceptible to the same types of workout injuries. This is because the human body, in all of its various shapes and sizes, is vulnerable to injury if proper precautions and exercise techniques are not employed. Stretching routinely, breathing properly, knowing your limitations, and recognizing your body’s signals, are all essential factors in working out correctly and avoiding lasting injuries.
Stretching as Workout Injury Prevention
Stretching your muscles thoroughly before you lift weights can prevent a number of serious injuries from taking place. If you simply head to the gym and start pumping iron without giving your muscles a good stretch, the conditions are perfect for a damaging tear or strain. The notion that stretching before your workout provides no benefit is untrue and has no basis in scientific fact, as countless studies have confirmed the improved flexibility and resistance to pulls and tears afforded to properly stretched limbs. In fact, this misconception contributes to thousands of preventable exercise injuries every year because uninformed exercisers push their muscles to the brink unnecessarily. Begin all of your workouts with a rigorous and balanced stretching routine, to avoid the most common workout injuries.
Example of Stretching Exercises
Knowing your Limits
Another great way to avoid taxing your body to the point of injury is simply to know your limits. When the person next to you is bench-pressing an impressive weight, a misguided sense of competitive nature can make it tempting to try and match their performance. Unfortunately, everybody has their own individual capabilities, and trying to supersede your personal limits can quickly result in overexertion. The particularly jarring pain which comes with a torn ligament or blown out knee, is excruciating and lasting, and these common workout injuries can reduce your physical abilities later in life. Prevention is the key to avoiding the most common workout injuries, so be diligent in your exercise routines, and record your tolerance to resistance as you build strength. A log of your workout stats is an extremely useful tool because when you have the numbers in front of you, it is much more difficult to convince yourself that another 40 pounds of weight couldn’t hurt.
Keeping Proper Form in all your Exercises
Exercising with the proper form is another crucial aspect of preventing workout injuries. Take advantage of the trainers available at your gym, and learn the right way to lift weights and do certain activities, because a flawed technique compounded by thousands of repetitions, will easily break down your fragile muscles and joints. If you prefer working out from home, you can go online and find handy workout assistance videos which walk you through the correct techniques for hundreds of popular and effective exercises.
Sarah Danielson is a freelance writer and part-time student at California State University Northridge in Northridge, California. She writes for a wide variety of clients including Howell & Christmas