We all know the feeling, you’ve pushed it too hard on a workout and you feel the effects the next day. Whether it’s just the result of a poor warm-up or something more serious, workout injuries can be painful and frustrating when you just want to get back to it. So, what are the most common gym and workout injuries and how can you avoid them?
Common workout injuries
Workout injuries can happen anywhere on the body and are commonly related to issues with muscles or tendons. Some of the most commonly injured areas of the body include:
Back pain gym injury
Back pain after a workout or a session in the gym can be caused by any number of different workouts putting strain on your muscles. A lower back injury may be caused by overexerting yourself with a deadlift or other heavy weights. Commonly this will be because of bad technique, bad posture or pushing “until failure”. Back pain may also actually be caused by muscle imbalances throughout the body as well, such as in your glutes.
Shoulder pain gym injury
Another common source of pain after a workout, shoulder injuries are common for weightlifters. If you do a lot of heavy overhead lifts, repetitive movements like this can cause a Rotator Cuff Injury. Initial tendonitis may turn into a tear if you leave it untreated. Another common injury is the aptly named Weightlifter Shoulder, an injury to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint caused by overexertion on activities such as the bench press, when the elbows are pushed further back than the shoulders, causing extra tension on the joint and leading to tears or fractures.
Elbow injury gym
Most commonly a result of damage to tendons in your elbow, elbow injuries from workouts are often caused by repeated weight overload. If you’ve just started lifting weights, you might suffer from elbow pain if you move too quickly onto weights that are too heavy or, most commonly with amateurs: because of gripping the bar too hard. To avoid elbow injuries, gradually increase your weights and only grip dumbbells as hard as you need to, to avoid them slipping.
Knee injury from the gym
Like when you’re running, weight lighting and other workouts can put a lot of pressure on your knees as one of the most important load-bearing joints in your body. Knee pain after a workout may be caused by over-loading your weights when you’re not ready, bad leg positioning or even wearing inappropriate footwear that doesn’t allow you to get a good stance when lifting.
How to avoid injuries in the gym
While there’ll be specific preparation you should do to prepare different areas of your body for a workout, there are things you should always do before, during and after you start pumping iron. To avoid the most common injuries:
- Warm-up: As you arrive at the gym and before each exercise
- Learn technique: Listen during inductions and ask advice if you’re not sure about the best technique for each exercise
- Form: Lift weights at a slow and smooth pace and avoid jerky movements where possible
- Weight: Start with smaller weights and work your way up, don’t overexert yourself or you’ll be more likely to suffer injury
- Rest: Between each rep set and each session to allow your body to recover
- Warm down: Don’t forget to warm down after your session is finished
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