Does Bodybuilding Harm Your Joints More Than Obesity Does?

Bodybuilding Harm Your Joints barbell chalk grip

Bodybuilding has been a matter of dispute over an alleged fear that it can cause joint problems. On the other hand, obesity, once a malady of the rich, has become a serious pandemic. Among many other health issues, it’s known to have a devastating effect on joints. In certain cases, it can even lead to osteoarthritis. Let’s examine what kind of weight harms your joints more – body weight or weightlifting.

The Big Fat Problem

In 2014, WHO estimated that more than 600 million adults were obese. If you think that this is shocking, wait until you hear that 1.9 billion adults – or in other words, almost 30% of the world’s population – were overweight. Besides tons of sugar and fast food, physical inactivity is one of the main culprits for this overwhelming statistics. According to Harvard School of Public Health, even those recommended two and a half hours of physical activity a week might not be enough for combating obesity. All this is more than enough to shed some light on the problem. The idea that bodybuilding and obesity might even be compared in the sense of being harmful to your joints is ridiculous. It’s true that heavy-duty workouts might result in joint injuries, but this occurs in one of the following situations:

  • In cases of excessive use of weight combined with a bad technique. Cheesy as it might sound, but moderation is key to safe and effective training.
  • Lack of proper supplements, nutrition and rest is something that will inevitably cause joint damage. Eating fish rich in omega-3 acids, such as salmon, as well as leafy vegetables, like broccoli or kale, is beneficial for your joints. Fish will prevent inflammations while vegetables are rich in calcium. Your joints also need to rest and recuperate from strenuous exercises.
  • Avoiding stretching, warming up and cooling down makes your joints (as well as muscles) susceptible to injuries. Make sure to include these elements in your training program.
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Bodybuilding Harm Your Joints shirtless man squatting heavy weight

Joint Efforts

Weight-bearing joints, such as knees, are placed under additional stress during exercises, so it’s crucial to know what kind of injuries they may sustain. It’s true that knees are more vulnerable due to their anatomical properties, so knee pain is something that athletes in every sport face from time to time. In order to minimize this risk, it’s essential that you practice proper form and keep your knees in the correct alignment with the hips and ankles. A SLAP tear is common in bodybuilding. This shoulder injury is the result of the repetitive stress brought on by overhead lifting motions. Keeping the optimal shoulder position is a must when you’re doing any type of upper-body exercises. Pain during overhead movements is a red flag that you should see your physician as soon as possible.

Bodybuilding Harm Your Joints woman yoga

Make It Work

Bodybuilding has countless benefits, among which are its ability to resolve metabolic disorders, prevent diabetes, reduce a risk of cardiovascular disease, positively affect bone density, and improve focus. In order to be able to make the most of bodybuilding workout, you also need some additional measures of precaution. A good pair of weightlifting shoes offers more stability thus reducing the risk of injuries. In addition to that, they can significantly improve your performance. Your workout routine definitely puts your muscles and joints under a great deal of strain, so you should think about yoga as a method of relaxing your muscles. Massage therapy is also an excellent option because research studies have shown that it improves flexibility and speeds up recovery time by increasing blood flow and allowing oxygen to flow.  Clinical Pilates is another discipline that is usually used as an ideal complement to weightlifting as it keeps joints flexible and strengthens core muscles, which is essential for improving balance.

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There’s no need to worry that bodybuilding will harm your joints if you train properly, eat healthy and help your body recuperate after exercising.

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