How to Prevent Workout Injuries?

How to Prevent Workout Injuries?

Workout injuries

“No pain, no gain” is what people believe in when they sign up for a regular gym workout, but it’s easier said than done. People begin their schedule with enthusiasm with no prior training or guidance from a fitness trainer. However, even with all the strength, guidance and a healthy diet in the world, workout injuries can happen to anyone. Regardless of age, gender and fitness level, not enough rest, excessive exercise, a rash movement, repetitive motions or even a fall can result in pain and injury. Common workout injuries include muscle strain, shoulder injury, knee injury, Shin splint, tendonitis, wrist sprain or dislocation which is common in sports such as long-distance running, swimming and rowing. So how do we know about workout injuries and learn how to prevent them?

1. Ankle Sprain

Treadmills causes more fitness injuries than any other exercise equipment as so many things can go wrong – you can trip, fall, slip and injure your fingers. Always concentrate when you’re jogging on the treadmill, even when you are listening to music. You can easily get hurt if you slip off your treadmill while the belt’s still moving, leading to an ankle sprain.

Prevention: Most treadmills have a clip that you can attach to your clothes. Fitness experts also say that it’s better to jog on paved, even walkways instead of uneven ones with potholes. The level surface would help you to run better and prevent workout injuries by tripping or slipping on the walk.

2. Back Strain

Back sprain is a sign that your body is overexerted with pressure from your workout, which includes lifting things too heavy for you or when warming-up is not done prior to exercising. These can put extra pressure on your back muscles, which are not able to absorb the energy during weightlifting, leading to a workout injury.

Prevention: Know your body capabilities, such as what would be the heaviest weight you can lift. Understand and correct your body posture under the guidance of a fitness expert to avoid injuries. Work on strengthening your core and back muscles to build resistance against injuries in the gym.

3. Hernia

We have all seen how some people in the gym hold in their breath while lifting heavy weights or when they are squatting, but that can do more harm than good. Holding in your breath increases pressure on your organs as well as increasing your blood pressure which can cause your internal organs to pierce through their coverings. This can injure you and lead to a medical emergency known as hernia.

Prevention: Start strengthening your core and abdominal muscles to prevent hernia or other workout injuries. Lift weight that is within the limits your body can handle and keep your breath steady to level the weightlifting.

4. Pectoral Injury

Dumbbells are an important exercise equipment, but one also requires caution to handle them. Losing control of the dumbbell while bench pressing leads to a tear in the pectoralis muscle in your chest, which is a serious workout injury. Pectoral injury can also happen when you’re lifting a weight heavier than what your body is accustomed to. The injury can be felt by a tearing sensation in the chest and the chest turns black and blue accompanied by pain.

Prevention: Understand your body’s capabilities. Work with a weight you can handle, and increase your weights only under guidance. Take the help of a spotter to keep your weight lifting in check so that you don’t drop it or lose control.

5. Joint Dislocations

Joint dislocations are perhaps the most common forms of workout injuries. Most of them occur due to not paying attention to your form or applying too much weight, leading to a dislocated hand, shoulder, elbow or knee. Applying excess pressure on your body can trigger pressure on the ligaments that forces bones out of their normal position.

Prevention: Train your muscles in each workout and alternate your exercises for any one muscle group from one workout to another. Work on your chest presses, then gradually move on to incline or decline presses or flyes which will strengthen all parts of your body. Make sure to keep the weight low enough to maintain proper form and a smooth and steady motion.

Beginners may feel that workout injuries are unavoidable, but they can actually be prevented if followed under the proper guidance of your trainer. However, if such a workout accident occurs, contact a specialist who understands workout injuries best such as a sports-medicine doctor, orthopedicians in Hyderabad or the city you live in for fast treatment and recovery.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad