8 Tips for Avoiding Injury at The Gym
Injuries are never fun.
They can keep you from being active, and avoiding them is important for your physical health.
If you want to avoid injury when working out at the gym, we have 8 tips that will help:
Take it slow
Training lapses often leave people with a sense of starting over, so it’s best to be realistic about returning.
You'll have to build up to that pre-lockdown level more gradually, so it can take weeks or months to get back there safely.
With so many options at the gym, it can be easy to overdo your workout.
Achieving balance isn't as easy as just working out - it includes finding the appropriate amount of rest.
You should plan your rest days as well as training sessions to give yourself enough recovery days for when you really need them.
Drink lots of water before, during, and after exercise
There are many benefits to staying properly hydrated: avoiding muscle cramps, a faster recovery time between sets or workouts; and improved performance in both strength and endurance sports.
Drink water before, during, and after your workout session to reap all the benefits.
Do a warm-up before exercising to prevent injury
It's always a good idea to do a quick warm-up before you exercise. This is especially important for avoiding injuring your back and joints while working out at the gym.
A good way to do this is by walking on a treadmill or using the elliptical machine for five minutes, followed by some arm circles, side bends, and front raises with light weights (or even just shaking your hands) until you feel loose.
You can also do some more specific warm-up exercises: If you're lifting weights at the gym, start with a few reps of lighter weight to get your muscles and joints ready for heavier lifting.
Stretch out any tight areas by grabbing one foot with the opposite hand (or elbow), pulling it towards your body, and then pushing it away.
A common concern for gym-goers is avoiding injury while working out their lower stomach muscles or improving balance through exercises like yoga.
One way to avoid this is by holding onto a chair as you stand on one leg; this will help support the weight of your upper body without straining your back.
Many people are also concerned about avoiding injury while working out their abdominal muscles, like crunches or planks.
To avoid strain on the neck and shoulder, make sure to support your body with pillows under your head and knees instead of using them as leverage for pushing yourself up in a plank position.
To help avoid injury and discomfort when lifting weights, always lift with your legs.
For example, if you are using a barbell to do overhead presses or squats, keep the weight on one side of your body while avoiding shifting it back and forth from leg to arm.
Stretch after you work out to avoid injury
To avoid injury after working out, BE SURE TO STRETCH.
For example, as a runner and having just finished a long run or sprinting on the treadmill for 20 minutes, it is crucial to do some light stretches before ending your workout.
You could also try this quick and effective stretching exercise:
The standing quad stretch - stand upright on one leg with the other leg bent in front of you and your heel pressed against a wall or floor for support.
Slowly bend at the waist, bringing both hands down towards to knee that is closest to the ground.
Hold this position for 30 seconds then switch sides and repeat if desired.
Make sure your gym clothes fit you well and are comfortable
Wear clothes that are form-fitting to avoid potential accidents and allow for better movement.
The shoes you wear at the gym should also be comfortable with a wide enough toe box and good arch support.
Your workout intensity may vary, so having the appropriate clothing handy could be a lifesaver.
Warm up with low-intensity exercise for 5 minutes
The most common injury at the gym is to a muscle or tendon..
Studies have shown that warming up with low-intensity exercise for five minutes significantly reduces injuries and improves performance.
This could be as simple as walking on a treadmill, riding an exercise bike at medium resistance, doing your stretching routine, or any other low-intensity exercise that will help you get your muscles warm and limber.
Get enough sleep every night so that you're not too tired at the gym
We all know that getting enough sleep is important for our health, but it can also help prevent injuries.
If you're not getting the rest your body needs, you may be tempted to push yourself harder during a workout and risk injury through over-exertion.
Some people believe that going to bed early or avoiding caffeine can help them get the sleep they need.
Others find that avoiding nighttime screen time helps them catch up on their rest, and in turn, stay injury-free at the gym.
Bonus - Listen to your body and stop if something feels wrong or hurts
Oftentimes, we don't listen to our body's warning signs when we're in the middle of a workout.
When your muscles feel fatigued, it's time to take a break and walk around for five minutes.
If you're feeling pain in one particular area, stop what you are doing and focus on that muscle group until the pain subsides.
The key to staying injury-free is by utilising a few simple precautions before and after you work out.
Remember, the best way to get in shape is to start slowly, take breaks when necessary, drink lots of water throughout your workout, do a warm-up before exercising for 5 minutes with low-intensity exercise before working up into high-intensity exercises.
Make sure that your gym clothes fit well and are comfortable so you can focus on what's important - having fun!
Listen to your body's cues; if something feels wrong or hurts stop right away.
And finally, remember that everyone has their own unique fitness journey which should be respected no matter how slow or fast they choose to go about it.
So don't worry about comparing yourself with others because it's just not worth it!