Injury and injury prevention are a key area of knowledge for anyone who is into fitness. Whether you’re a powerlifter or a crossfitter, everybody needs to know how to prevent injuries by doing exercises correctly, and how to heal them if something goes wrong, in this we’ll be covering some of the ways you can prevent an injury, and what you can do if you do get injured!
Stretching After Your Workout
Stretching is a very important part of taking care of your body after you’ve had a workout. When you exercises, due to muscle contractions, your muscles and ligaments can get cramped up; runners will all know about the dreaded iliotibial band problems that you can wind up getting if you don’t stretch properly. It also prevents the retention of lactic acid, the respiratory substance that leaves you feeling stiff after a workout! Because of this, it’s worth getting your hands on a foam roller, the likes of which you can buy from MyProtein. These foam rollers help you to stretch out your legs, arms and back, giving you all the stretching that you need to prevent an injury from occurring.
Know Your Limits
This is where the majority of weightlifting injuries occur; people pushing their limits too far. Our bodies get stronger and fitter by pushing the boundaries, but sometimes you can push it too much and end up hurting yourself. Muscles, when given too much load to carry, will end up tearing. These injuries can takes months to heal, putting you out of any form of physical activity until they’ve healed up, and even then it can take years for the muscle to function as it once did. This is why you must be careful when pushing yourself to the limit, do not try to lift or run anything you can’t! Experienced fitness fanatics will know where their limits lie, however for some of the greener gym goers amongst us, it’s hard to know what your limit is! Websites like BodyBuilding have forums full of people who are willing to give advice, by giving them basic information they will be able to have an accurate guess on what your limits are so you know not to push them and hurt yourself!
Learn The Correct Form
Though this is aimed at weight lifting rather than running, the same principle still applies. Form is one of the most, if not the most, important thing to really nail as an athlete. Form is the way in which you perform an exercise, and it must be spot on in order to reduce the chance of injury! For lighter weights form is not as important, but when you start lifting heavy it comes into play a lot. Not only does it reduce the chance of injury if your form is correct, but it can also make the lift easier for you, in the process stimulating more of the correct muscles for more gains. Websites like muscle and strength have tutorial videos for almost any exercise you can do in the gym, it’s good to see what you’re doing before you’re doing it! Alternatively, you can always ask one of the instructors at your gym to help you with a certain exercise as they will always be willing to help.
Resting is another really important part of any kind of fitness routine. Both for cardiovascular and strength training, you need to give your body a proper rest before going back and exercising again. Your muscles need time to repair, and your body needs time to replenish the glycogen stores that were used up in your last workout! The only way this is done is by eating and resting, giving your body enough time to repair itself is very important, for two reasons. The first being, if you try to go to the gym again and your body is not ready for it, you won’t have the same capacity to lift or run the same as you did in your last session, meaning you end up lifting more than your body can handle, which could result in an injury. Secondly, everything will feel much harder. This will throw off your mindset, which makes you vulnerable to having bad form and injuring yourself, which is what this is all about avoiding! You need to be able to plan your workout days, so it’s good to use Google Calendar, a free app for your phone, to keep track of when you went to the gym, how you you did and when you should next go to the gym!
Knowing When To Get Help
Everybody gets injured from time to time, it’s inevitable that it will happen so it’s important to know what help to seek when you need it, or if you can just do something at home! Often times injuries at the gym will be nothing more than a slightly pulled muscle or a very small tear, which can be rectified by not going to the gym for a few days, putting ice on it and slowly getting it moving to stimulate muscle growth back into the injured area. However there are times when injuries can be more serious and you need specialist help to get better. Most doctors will refer you to a specialist if something has gone seriously wrong, for example if you have a problem with your shoulder they will refer you to rotator cuff surgeons if you require surgery, but we hope that this never happens! Should it thought, you need to know exactly where to get help, we have to be realistic and expect these things to happen!
Getting fit and strong is a very fun and rewarding activity to do, though as we’ve seen it does come with some dangers! Hopefully you’re now aware of these dangers, and are very well equipped to deal with them in the future, knowing now have to prevent them and what to do if you are injured! Of course, it’s not all about preventing injury, if you want your training to start paying off instead of scaring you into thinking you’re going to get hurt, read this article for the best things to eat after a workout to best rest and fuel your body!