When trying to improve your strength and stay in good shape, weight lifting injuries can not only be devastating to your progress in these areas, they can also result in serious permanent physical injuries. It is important to be aware of common mistakes that are made that lead to dangerous injuries. Here are some tips on what to avoid in the weight room in order to avoid injuries.
Arguably the most popular mistake that causes injury is improper technique while performing an exercise. Incorrect technique can cause muscles, tendons, or tissue to be pulled, strained, or even ripped if they are forced to move in a way that is not natural or normal. It is essential that you understand the proper form when performing an exercise and that you are focused to prevent any deviating from this proper form. Another danger to avoid while working out is using too much weight, or so much weight that you cannot control your body movements. Obviously if the weight is so great that you cannot control your body movements, there is no way you can expect to use proper form which will again invite injury. However, serious weight accidents can occur from being out of control such as dropping weights or falling that can lead to even more severe injuries. Another mistake you must avoid is that of skipping stretching. You should always stretch before and after workouts. Stretching before workouts elongates and relaxes your muscles making them flexible and more injury resistant. Stretching after workouts helps to alleviate soreness and cramps by again relaxing the muscles after an intense weight lifting period. Different from stretching but still equally as important is warming up. A warm up is a high rep low intensity exercise that is used to get blood pumping and get the muscles warm to allow them to be ready to go, such as doing many bench press reps with just the barbell. This should actually be performed before stretching so that the muscles are warmer and softer before being stretched out.
In addition to these points, another necessity that you must have while exercising is a competent spotter or spotters. If you’re working out hard, eventually you will reach a point in different exercises where you are tired and will need a spotter. A spotter must be strong, alert, and prepared for total failure in order to prevent any catastrophic accidents from happening. If you’re spotter is looking around or joking with others while you are performing a heavy squat set, disaster is very probable. Outside of the weight room, rest time and setting up a proper schedule is important. Training too often and not allowing adequate rest time drains your body’s energy, slows down your progress, and makes the body more susceptible to injury. Working out in a depleted or weakened state invites injury, so planning for rest time and keeping workouts to a manageable time (around an hour) is crucial. Lastly, nutrition is often undervalued when it should not be. If you are not eating much or eating unhealthily and still training hard, you are again harming your body’s overall state of health which is a recipe for disaster when exercising. For more health and fitness tips, contact an Answer is Fitness professional.