The majority of people end up getting injured at one time or another from working out, me included, but there are ways to make sure that they don’t happen very often. Some of the most common lifting injuries have to do with the knees, lower back, or a pulled or torn muscle. Over the course of a few years, I have had quite a few injuries including a broken hand, pulled Achilles tendon, strained lower back, and have even had a few knee problems, but luckily I was able to bounce back fairly quickly from most of them. However, as I have progressed through my fitness journey, I have been able to learn how to prevent certain injuries from occurring. So how can you go about preventing lifting injuries?
(1) Warm up and stretch before every workout. It has to be in that order too. If you try stretching cold muscles, then you risk pulling something. Warm up and then stretch the muscles out so that your muscles have more room to expand while you’re working out. One injury that occurred because I didn’t warm up and stretch was a pulled Achilles tendon, and those take quite a while to heal. I decided to just jump on the treadmill and start running, and then felt a small tweak that quickly turned into a sharp pain.
(2) Have a spotter. If you’re at the gym working out and are doing heavy resistance exercises like skull crushers and barbell bench press, make sure you have a spotter. I have heard to many horror stories of people who have seriously injured themselves because they didn’t have someone there to spot them. Plus, having a spotter allows you to really push yourself during the exercises, much more than you would alone.
(3) Listen to your body. If you’re going through a program like Insanity and have knee or lower back issues, all that high impact from jumping around isn’t going to help the cause. As soon as you start feeling a tweak anywhere, stop what you’re doing and let it heal before you start back up. I’ve made the mistake in the past of just ignoring the pain in my lower back, which in turn led to an injury that took quite a while to heal. Just be smart!
(4) Don’t try to lift more than you can handle. OK, we all try to be tough guys and want to show the world how much we can lift, but what good is that going to do? I have heard of and seen too many injuries occurring because of people trying to lift more than they can handle. In fact, my best friend tore his pec from trying to max out on bench press. Pick a weight that allows you to get a good amount of reps (8-10 or 12-15) and stick with that.
Now you know of some ways that you can prevent lifting injuries. Whenever you’re working out, be smart, and never continue if you feel pain somewhere!
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