Workout injuries are the bane of any exercise routine. If you are a fitness beginner planning to start an exercise program, it is best to think of your safety first and foremost.
Knowing you have secured yourself against harm helps motivate you and build confidence when you are working out. Consulting a doctor first about your physical capacity and eating healthy are great ways to prepare yourself, but there are still a few more preparations you can make.
Whether you are using a Smith Machine or doing lifts with dumbbells, you need to know how to keep yourself safe because injury can happen when you are unprepared.
To help you have a safer workout, here are five tips that can help you avoid exercise injuries.
First advice to reduce exercise injury is warming up. This helps you by increasing the blood flow to the muscles, and improve flexibility and mobility. Make your warm-up an integral part of your exercise routine because it will help your muscles perform better so you can do your workout with no problems.
To get the body ready for your workout, try jogging in place or practicing your routine exercise pattern to warm-up.
Stretch Before Starting
Stretching works hand-in-hand with warm-ups. Stretching helps relax and flex your muscles after warming up. With your muscles stretched and ready, they are movable and more alert. Another added benefit is that your muscles can become more injury-resistant.
Stretches you can do to prepare for your workout includes quadricep stretches, hamstring stretches, calf stretches, and lower back stretches.
Have the Right Technique
Weight-training injuries occur because of bad techniques. For example, a barbell or dumbbell lifted incorrectly can rip a muscle or tear delicate tissues. To prevent injury, perfect your technique so you can either make reps or miss a rep safely. While your form may vary depending on the muscle group you’re working on, generally you want your form to exclude any movements that cause pain and may work a different set the muscles than the one you’re targeting. Remember to maintain good posture as well.
Lift the Right Amount of Weight
There’s a limit to what your body can lift. Using more weight than you can handle will very likely lead to injury, instead of building more strength. You are lifting too much if you cannot control a weight going on a downward trajectory “or” cannot move properly, and if you have to jerk the weight to lift it. Knowing your limits can help make your workout safer.
For weightlifting beginners, it’s recommended that women start with a pair of 5-10 lbs. weights, while men should start with a pair of 10-20 lbs. weights
Have the Right Exercise Routine
The proper exercise routine follows a consistent schedule, focus, and intensity. Over-training can make your progress take a step backward because it messes with your body’s ability to recuperate properly. If your body is unable to get adequate rest, ATP and glycogen stores are severely reduced, and in this state, your body is much more prone to injury.
It’s a good idea to schedule a specific day for each routine. For example, you can work on your upper body on Mondays and work on your lower body on Wednesdays.
Make sure you get a safe and efficient workout next time you hit the gym by following these tips from Marcy.