Day: August 24, 2012

Just Say NO to Gym Injuries

Tired of coming into the gym to get fit only to injure yourself and set yourself back on your road to fitness? Well with a few easy steps you can avoid those big and little injuries and find a happy place in the gym.

  1. Know the Equipment – Don’t jump on a new machine you’ve never used and load on the weight. Make sure you know how to use the equipment properly before adding weight or doing high reps. Read the instructions (when possible); know what the equipment is used for before using it.
  2. Warm Up – This is important as warming up gets the body ready for movement. The warm-up will loosen up joints, increase temperature of the muscle, and increase blood flow. This is super important to not only stay away from injuries but warming up will also make your exercises better and more beneficial.
  3. Pace Yourself – If it’s been a while since your last workout it’s best to ease back into it. Don’t over extend yourself, your muscles, joints, and lungs will need time to work back up to optimum performance.
  4. Follow the Rules – The gym has rules for a reason. Make sure to follow the rules at all times to help keep yourself and others safe.
  5. Keep Hydrated – Not only does lack of hydration cause you to feel more fatigued during your workout but it will also hamper muscle contraction and flexibility. If you want your muscles to fire at full power and move through full range of motion they need plenty of H2O. Plus it will keep you from passing out : )
  6. Maintain Good Posture – Using good posture in any movement you do will not only increase your core strength but it will also help you exercise more efficiently. Posture is important from cardio to lifting, to yoga, so keep it in mind the next time you are slouched on the bike reading the paper. If you want to get all that you can from your exercise make sure to use your core at all times.
  7. Use Full Range of Motion – Full range of motion not only keeps flexibility of your joints but also insures that you are using the full muscle not just the belly. Using the full muscle also increases strength and helps to maintain joint stability.
  8. Mix up Machines as Well as Exercises – Using different machines/equipment will help work your muscles in different planes of motion. Trying different exercises all together will also maintain good joint range of motion and help to work all of your connecting tissues.
  9. Ask a Professional – Making sure you are using machines properly and performing exercises correctly is extremely important. Making sure you know 100% that what you are doing is correct will save you from unnecessary injuries due to improper form.
  10. Use Common Sense – If it doesn’t feel good don’t do it! If you aren’t working the intended muscles, don’t do it. If it’s too heavy don’t do it. If you are tired and losing form then STOP. Pushing yourself is good but pushing yourself past the point of proper form is only going to do more harm than good. Use your brain as well as your muscles!!!