4 Most Common Workout Injuries and How to Avoid Them
Common Workout Injuries Every Gym-Goer Must be Aware of
Gyms are the go-to places for people who want to realize their fitness goals. With the number of heavy equipment, high-intensity routines, and repetitive movements being performed in gyms, it’s no wonder that gym-related injuries are quite common.
Research has shown that overexertion injuries from doing strenuous activities account for 36.2% of injury cases in fitness facilities. Crush injuries from dropped weights account for 16% while injuries secondary to falls and awkward landing are at 12%.
Decrease your risk of sustaining gym-related injuries with the following fitness tips:
Your back carries the weight of your upper body so when you’re doing strength training and high-intensity exercises in the gym, you are at risk of suffering from back injuries. Poor posture habits and using improper body mechanics when performing squats and lifting weights can increase the tension and stress in your lower back. This can result in microtrauma, inflammation, and pain.
Back pain can be prevented by properly conditioning your body before an intense physical activity. For additional back support, you may consider wearing a back brace. An ideal brace for going to the gym will be made of breathable, antimicrobial material that helps wick away moisture while still providing compression and support to your spine. If your back pain intensifies each time you do your routines, it’s best to stop the activity altogether and give your back enough time to heal.
Shin splints refer to the inflammation of the soft tissues including the muscles and the tendons around your tibia or shinbone.
Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints usually develop when there is too much stress on the legs as a result of repetitive leg movements. It can also occur when there is a sudden increase in the frequency and intensity of physical activities. Common causes of shin splints include excessive running on a treadmill, exercising on a hard surface, and wearing footwears with thin soles.
To prevent this gym injury from happening, wear appropriate shoes with sufficient padding and soft cushioning, do warm-up exercises before you go all out in your gym session, and increase the intensity of your exercise gradually over time.
This injury, also known as a pulled muscle, occurs as a result of overuse, fatigue, and improper muscle use. As a result, the muscles get overstretched or torn. A muscle strain commonly happens to the muscles of the neck, shoulder, lower back, and the hamstring muscles behind your thighs.
To prevent muscle strains, always perform proper stretching and warm-up exercises before doing your routines. If you are doing weight training, make sure that you increase the intensity gradually. You can also increase your muscle mass and facilitate muscle repair by eating a high-protein diet.
An ankle sprain happens when the ankle ligaments are stretched or torn. The injury commonly results from a twisted ankle due to poor balance and coordination, wearing ill-fitting shoes, and missing a step.
To prevent ankle sprain injuries, keep up with flexibility exercises for the ankles, ensure that you are wearing appropriate footwear, and be mindful of any gym equipment on the floor.
Generally, gym-related injuries can be avoided by doing proper workout techniques, wearing the right workout clothes and footwear, and using protective gear. You can always ask for assistance from your gym instructor or a knowledgeable gym buddy on the proper way to use gym equipment as well.
Written by Joe Fleming