Weight and resistance training is a great way to live a healthy and active lifestyle. In fact, it should be a consistent part of our day-to-day lives. However, training can be a dangerous activity for people who do not know how to properly exercise. Did you know that 64% of all diagnosed exercise soft tissue injuries are from muscle pulls and strains?
Building strength in a full range of motion aids in the correction and prevention of injuries.
So, what are some things you can do to avoid injury?
Practice proper technique.
This might be the single most important element in reducing and preventing injuries. If you are performing an exercise wrong, you put yourself at risk for bearing too heavy of a load that can cause body strains and tears. If you are unsure if you are performing an exercise the right way or not, ask your instructor. Having poor technique can lead to unnecessary injuries.
ALWAYS warm up by stretching.
Your muscles need time to get loose before they are worked. Stretching increases blood flow throughout the body and elevates your heart rate so that you are ready to grind.
Work out with a partner.
Having someone to spot you on the heavy lifts and motivate you through the reps increases the efficiency and safety of your workout.
Start working out at your own pace.
Everyone has a different starting point, so begin where you feel comfortable. Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments will not be able to sustain the body if they are worked too hard too fast. Start slow and light and work your way up from there.
Give your body time to rest.
It is best to give each muscle group a 24 hour rest period in between workouts. So, if you are a gym rat who goes 7 days a week, make sure you are rotating your workouts to accommodate your muscle group rest period.