Getting injured sucks! You spend a couple of weeks, maybe months doing a gym routine consistently, only to get injured. The few weeks you’re out recovering sends you back to square one. You’ve lost all the progress you made. And now you just can’t be bothered to go through it all again. You’ve lost the motivation to continue. Can you relate?
It feels like as soon as you start making some real progress and start seeing results, something always happens. It might be a pull in the neck, a sore lower back or an ache in your knee. It stops you from going to the gym for a week or more and usually is enough to throw you off track. But here’s the thing. This could all have been avoided. A bit of strategic prevention can be all the difference. And if staying pain-free is a top priority to you, you need to take a look at these 5 ways to prevent gym injuries.
1. Warm Up and Stretch Yourself Silly
Another way to prevent gym injuries is to stretch all of your major muscles before your workout. Stretching releases any tightness in muscles and provides beneficial blood flow to the muscles and joints. By doing so, you’ll raise your heart rate and body temperature before you begin your workout, thereby reducing your chance of injury.
2. Focus on Form First
A common mistake people make in the gym is adding on more weight before they learn the correct form. Form should always come first. If you learn the correct lifting technique, only then should you gradually add more weight to your exercises. By lowering the weight and focusing on your technique, you’ll avoid injuries and see maximum results. It’s a good idea to get a gym partner who you can train with. This way, you can both spot one another and make sure you have the right form for each exercise.
3. Listen to Your Body
If you do a lift or movement and it hurts or feels uncomfortable, stop. This is your body telling you that you need to stop and rest. Pushing through the pain and fatigue is not going to help you make progress. All it will do is lead to an injury. It’s better to take a day or two off to recover from fatigue, than push through the pain only to get a more serious injury that requires weeks of recovery. Yes, it’s true that fatigue is a crucial part of training. Your muscles break down and rebuild, leading to increased strength and muscle development. Feeling delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) a day or two after a gym session is normal. But, when something doesn’t just feel right, it’s time to stop and recover. Make sure you get enough sleep and drink enough water. It’s a great, but often overlooked. way to prevent gym injuries.
4. Don’t Overdo It
Just because you read in some magazine that you should train 6 times a week, doesn’t mean that this will work for you. Remember, everyone is different. We are not all at the same level or have the same experience. So do you train 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 days a week? Pick whatever gives you enough stimulus and enough time for recovery. Training only twice a week is usually enough to maintain progress (given you maintain a healthy diet). However, if you want to see progress, then a minimum of three days per week is required. If you train more than your body can handle, getting an injury is highly likely. But what about if you want to do more? Of course you can, just remember to progress steadily, allowing enough time for recovery.
5. When it Comes to Rest Days… Rest!
Days off from the gym may seem a little boring. I get it. It feels like you should be doing something. You say to yourself that instead of lifting weights, you’ll go for a run and do something different. That’s not too bad right? Wrong. Your body needs to recover. Rest days are just as important in any fitness program and are crucial to prevent gym injuries. If you absolutely must do something, do a lower impact, low-intensity activity such as stationary biking.
As you can see, there are steps you can take to prevent gym injuries and make real progress. Avoiding some or all of these tips mentioned is certainly recommended. Remember, prevention is the best cure. Always. What have you experienced when trying some of the above-mentioned tips?
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Author: Waseem Khan
Waseem helps busy professionals get into the best shape of their lives, look good, and feel amazing. If you want to learn how, be sure to check out his website and get your free bonus.