Prevention is the Best Defense
Are exercise injuries holding you back? Whether you are a diehard exercise fanatic or an exercise rookie, nothing derails a fitness program faster than an injury. Exercise injuries not only hurt, but they can also set your fitness goals back and may even contribute to a loss of motivation.
Why exercise injuries occur
Injuries from training typically happen when your muscles, joints or ligaments are overloaded and stressed beyond what they can handle, which can happen for a few different reasons. For instance, if you don’t use proper form when working out, it can cause trauma to the muscles, joints or ligaments. If you’re not sure how to perform a certain move or use a piece of equipment, ask a trainer.
Diving into vigorous exercise too fast can also cause problems since your muscles are not warm. Exercising too intensely, too quickly can lead to overstretched muscles, pulls and strains.
Being a weekend warrior may also result in exercise injuries. You know the drill. You’re working all week, so on the weekend you try to cram in all the exercise you can. But that can quickly lead to an overuse injury.
Injuries can also occur if you don’t listen to your body. There is a big difference between being a bit sore from a workout and hurting yourself. If you feel sudden pain when exercising, it’s time to stop.
Common exercise injuries
Below are a few common injuries that can develop due to exercise.
- Lower back pain: weak back muscles are common due to prolonged sitting and inactivity. Using poor form when exercising can strain back muscles and lead to pain.
- Runner’s knee: this type of exercise injury is caused by irritation to the cartilage under the kneecap. Although it’s commonly caused by running, other activities, such as plyometric exercises and hiking can also lead to the injury.
- Pulled hamstring: if your hamstring is stretched beyond its capacity, the result can be a pulled muscle. Not warming up properly and tight muscles are often the culprit.
- Plantar fasciitis: when the connective tissue that supports the arch becomes inflamed, the condition is called plantar facilities. Wearing the right shoes for the activity you’re doing can help prevent the condition.
Prevention is the best defense
Although no one is immune to an injury, there are several things you can do to decrease the chances of hurting yourself.
Ease into exercise
Always warm up before a workout to prepare your muscles for the increased workload. An adequate warm-up increases body temperature and circulation to the muscles, which improves elasticity. Also, build strength slowly. If you’re lifting weights, consider increasing your weights by no more than ten percent a week.
Use proper technique
Whether you’re strength training or doing cardio, poor form often contributes to exercise injuries. For example, if you’re lifting weights, make sure you know how to perform each move before doing it.
Vary your routine
Exercise injuries are often caused by repetitive movements. Varying your routine and cross training gives certain muscles and joints a break while working others.
Get the right gear
Using the right gear is essential when working out. For instance, flip-flops might be comfortable, but they don’t work for running. Wear shoes that provide support for the type of activity you’re doing and consider a weight belt for heavy lifting.
Allow time for recovery
It’s awesome to be passionate about exercise. But you’re body also needs a break to recover. Remember, you can get too much of a good thing, and that includes exercise.
Do you have a history of exercise injuries, or are you currently working your way back from one? The personal trainers at Elite Triangle Fitness can design and guide you through an individualized personal training program that’s right for your needs. Call us for a free consultation today!