5 tips to reduce injury during exercise
Working out doesn't have to be a safety hazard. Whether you are a HIIT man or prefer cycling, working out right can make or break your lifespan in the gym. With just a few changes, you'll prolong your training life-expectancy and feel better in the process. Here are five simple ways to help you reduce injury during exercise so you can keep getting after what you love the most.
Warm up like you mean it.
Your warm-up shouldn’t be something to take lightly. This means warming up effectively is going to involve a little more than just grabbing your foot, pulling it to your butt and stretching your quad. A good warm-up sets the tone for how your workout will play out, and if your warm-up is careless, your workout might be also.
When done properly, a good warm-up should offer the following:
Increase in body temperature
Increase in joint lubrication
Increase in movement readiness
Increase in mental preparedness
Increase in coordination and reaction time
Make your warm-up cater to your workout and the movements you’re about to perform. If you’re about to squat, your warm-up should involve some sort of hip, ankle, or squat movement pattern.
Be more dynamic. Don’t get me wrong, static stretches are great, but dynamic stretching may better prepare you. For example, a back and forth leg swing may work better than a 20-second hamstring stretch.
Your warm-up should not be longer than your workout. Don’t spend forever warming up. Get in and get out and do the most effective warm-up for YOU.
Know the technique.
Details create success. They can also reduce the chance of injuries. Anything from a bicep curl to a deadlift, these movements require skill. If you don’t know how to do a certain exercise, I highly recommend asking or hiring someone who is knowledgeable enough to show you. It could very well be one of the best investments you’ll make to reduce a future injury. A good professional can point out compensations you’re making and improve your technique tenfold. This can lead to a reduced risk of injury, and set you up for greater strength gains in the future.
If you can’t afford a professional, a few websites for technique would be:
Or Instagram accounts:
Too much weight.
“No pain, no gain.” This is the mindset of a lot of people when stepping foot inside a gym. Discomfort and pain are two different things. You don’t deserve a trophy if you throw up, pass out, or tear a muscle in the gym. Using too much weight can be the culprit of the “no pain, no gain” mentality. That being said, I’m not against using a heavier weight. I’m a powerlifter and lifting heavier weight is my favorite. But it’s when the weight gets so heavy that technique gets thrown out the window and you’re using your whole body to do a bicep curl, or at the end of a deadlift you can barely stand up because your back is overworked. Make sure if lifting heavy is your goal, technique is your goal first.
Train smarter, not harder.
Don’t do what other people are doing.
We’re all built differently, we’re all unique. These differences can be anywhere from height and body weight, genetics, training age, injuries, sleep quality, and even gender differences. With all this in mind, it might not be the most effective to follow a generic exercise program that you google.
Is it a bad idea to follow one? Absolutely not.
If you don’t have a personal trainer or coach who can tailor a program for you, my suggestion is to try and alter a generic program for you and your goals.
Our bodies are really smart. They adapt to stressors being placed on us and can even give us warning signs when something is wrong.
If your shoulder is giving you an issue during your workout, that’s a signal that something is wrong.
If you’re tired all the time and it seems to be getting worse, that's maybe a signal to take a rest. If you’re sore for more than 48 hrs, maybe you went a little too crazy on your workout, and it’s a sign to do a little less next time.
If your goal is to get strong, build muscle, or lose fat, then recovery is actually very important. During recovery is when the body takes time to adapt to these stressors. If it never recovers it won’t adapt effectively. It’ll be harder to get stronger, to build muscle, or to lose weight.
Train hard, recover harder.
To see more training and recovery recommendations, follow Jason on Instagram: @repthereds