I’m sure we’ve all been at the gym and watched some dummy misuse equipment almost to the point of injuring themselves. These gym fails are all over YouTube, people falling off treadmills, getting body parts stuck in machines and wearing ridiculous workout gear. I’m not here to talk about these numb nuts; I’m here to discuss regular people who get hurt at the gym. There are some simple steps that we all should follow at the gym, so I won’t mention cleaning your sweat off machines after you use them or tripping over weights left out by some novice. These are 7 ways people can hurt themselves at the gym.
No Warm Up
It is no secret that stretching and warming up your muscles is fundamental to a good workout. Warming up is crucial to keeping your muscles from tearing severely. We’ve all skipped a warm up because we were running late, but how many times did that cause injury? It’s especially important to stretch prior to a workout if you’ve been sitting for long periods of time. Your muscles are extra tight after a long day at the office, so a proper warm up is key to prevent injury.
Break Proper Form
This is most common on your last few reps of a set. We’ve all been there, only two more reps left and we are just dead tired, so we use improper form and we pull a muscle in our back. It’s so important when lifting weights to keep your spine straight and the mass on your heels. Staying centered and using proper form will stop you from hurting yourself and you will get more out of the workout.
Push thru Pain
People at the gym have a mission, to get in a certain shape. This goal will often make people push through the pain and in doing so, hurting yourself more. Muscle soreness is one thing but persistent pain is usually a sign of a deeper issue. You know your body better than anyone else, so if you think you can handle it, you probably can, but be careful.
Push too Hard
When you workout you get a rush of endorphins, which make you feel super strong. These endorphins can ultimately hurt you by making you feel stronger than you actually are. Be mindful not to go too hard and max out on your weight. More reps are always better than maxing out every attempt. Increase your weight or distance in small increments so you don’t suddenly injure yourself. The key is to be smart and not let your rush of endorphins fool your body.
No Recovery Day
You have to give your body a chance to recover from a workout, that’s why it’s important to switch between legs and arm every other day. Alternating workout zones is key to recovery. When you exercise, you are tearing muscles and to get stronger, they need time to repair themselves.
Recovery days don’t need to be lazy days, instead, spend those days working on other areas. You can’t do bench everyday, its ultimately unhealthy. You need to alternate days or eventually you will tear muscles and have to take months off.
You Aren’t Cross Training
You have to switch it up, that’s for sure. A healthy body needs multiple workouts so every part of the body gets exercised. You don’t want huge arms and tiny legs believe me. Mix up your exercises and consider cross training. If you always do free weights, maybe do 2-3 days of cardio in between so change it up. Maybe toss in some yoga or Pilates to strengthen your core.
Wearing the Wrong Shoes
Shoes are usually made pretty specifically. Running shoes are meant to move forwards and not side-to-side, so if you wear running shoes to a Zumba class, you may roll your ankle. Instead, invest in some cross trainers or wrestling shoes. You should have a few pair of athletic shoes, for all your different activities.
Follow these simple rules and hopefully you won’t injure yourself at the gym like some knucklehead rookie.
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