No pain, no gain is what they say and they are mostly right especially when talking about the journey to fitness. Getting fit and into shape is no joke, it is a grueling process that will push you physically and mentally. However; the no pain, no gain mantra does not mean you take the idea of workout injuries lightly. Workout injuries are no joke. They can bench you for months and not just that. If you are very unlucky you can get a chronic injury which will last you a lifetime.
Why do these injuries happen?
Rarely it’s pure bad luck that leads to these injuries but most of the time these injuries are caused by doing the same activity too much (over stressing a specific body part) or choosing an activity that is bad for your body type or physical conditioning. Last but not the least, when undertaking resistance training your “form” also counts for a lot. Incorrect form can also cause injuries.
But all it takes is a few simple steps to make your workout smarter and avoid common fitness injuries.
1. Know your body
Not everybody is built for doing everything. All of us have some physical weaknesses. It is very important that you understand what your weaknesses are and then workout accordingly. Orthopedic surgeon Kenneth Plancher elaborates on this by explaining that knowing your weaknesses is not just so you can avoid certain activities till you reach a specific fitness level (though it is a part of it), it is more of understanding your weak areas and avoid activities that put excess stress on them.
For example if you are aware that you have knee problems then you should not use your treadmill on an incline or do leg presses. Instead you could try and use a stationary bike or an elliptical machine. Make sure to attend a physical therapist or someone specialized in sports medicine in order to attain a go ahead of what to do and what not to.
2. Get an instructor
In this day and age you may argue that a tutorial video can be found about anything, including how to properly do a weighted squat, or even basic fitness exercises like lunges, crunches, sit-ups and pushes. That is true but a professional instructor can help you achieve proper form for your exercises and instruct you which workouts would be more effective for your body type. Also people often injure themselves due to scaling up the intensity of their workouts too soon. An pro instructor can help you guide through the appropriate progression of exercises, weights and even rest periods. If you can afford it, a pro-instructor is a must. If not, then you should use effective research venues, like Bodybuilding.com where pros come and talk about proper form techniques and even diet.
3. Warming up before exercise
Warming up before exercise is very important. A cold start to a workout substantially raises the risk of getting a workout injury. Also ensure that warm exercises do not take up too much of your stamina. Warm exercises are simple, like for example marching on the sport for 3 minutes.