If you’re reading this article then I’m sure you know what training mistakes can lead you to injury or you’re here to know how it happens. In this article, I will be discussing common workout injuries and how to avoid them.
Reasons why common workout injuries takes place:
1. Poor form
This is the most common mistake in resistance training. We often take advice or copy other fitness models and gurus, but that doesn’t mean they are doing the right form. So, if we learn wrong, we lift wrong, and we can end our lifting journey over there itself. It’s really important to study the correct form and implement it, so you know the difference between correct and incorrect form.
For example — if you are someone who always does behind-the-neck pulldowns, there’s a good chance you will be messing up your neck and rotator cuffs. So doing anything fancy will keep you in injury prone zone.
2. Ego lifting
You start lifting weights that are way out of your experience level. This usually happens when you try to impress anyone in the gym or try to record a clip and post it on Instagram to look cool and strong.
Well, it doesn’t work — want to know why? Trying to impress someone, and then hurt yourself, could be the last day of yours in the gym. If you injure yourself, you’ll need to go through rehab, take time off from the gym, and start lifting way lighter than you did before. That means you have to start from scratch.
3. Ignoring the deloading phase
This is for natural athletes mostly. As we lift weights, it puts mechanical stress on our muscles which accumulates fatigue over time. Our fatigue goes up every week and causes discomfort. So its ideal to take an entire light week after 4-6 weeks of consistent hard training, this will help our fatigue to go down. This will also improve fitness and performance levels.
4. Ignoring small joint issues or muscle strain
During training, if you feel uncomfortable via performing any exercise don’t neglect it. Look after the pain if it’s troubling you then do visit a doctor and take rest. Folks these days ignore such pain and face a big problem in the long run. Don’t be that guy.
Places where you most common workout injuries occur:
1. Back and traps
This is a prone area where people get an injury. This is due to improper lifting and ego lifting. Back is a big muscle and people load the lifts with numerous amount of weight and perform it with pathetic form. They round there back during deadlifts which can lead to herniated discs. It is very difficult to quickly get back to your normal lifting routine after any back injuries at all, so make sure you don’t ego lift or perform any back lift with form.
During a shrug movement if you ego lift then you can terrible injure your cervical spine. Keep your cervical spine neutral during any lift; it’s safe and ideal.
The other prone muscle for injury is your delts. Delts injury can make stop you from lifting weights. It will make your life hard to live. Dudes in the gym try to load weights and forget about form, they do mostly all the shoulder exercises with momentum and forget about strict movement. It causes huge stress on joints and ligaments. It also happens when one does any type arm exercise. Delts are small muscles and to work, you don’t need huge ass weights.
Wrist injury takes place when one bends their wrist during a bench press, overhead press or when curling a bar. It’s really important to have a proper look on wrists when one is performing exercises.
Knees are very prone to get injured via performing any lower body movement. Weak knees can be due to genetics, and it’s really tough to work through it.
Running on a treadmill can weaken your knees due to the unbalance movement.
Weightlifters face knee issues due to lifting heavy weights without a full range of motion and ego lifting. Improper squats can lead to lower back injuries too.
How to avoid common workout injuries:
1. Warm up
Proper dynamic stretching is necessary. It is found that dynamic stretching is much better than static stretching when it comes to pre-training. As dynamic stretching increases performance, and static stretching decreases performance, which leads to inferior gains over time. However, if you follow up any static holds with dynamic stretches before lifting, performance levels off to baseline (no decrease nor development). There is also not enough evidence to suggest that static stretching helps with injury prevention.
What about flexibility? If you’re lacking flexibility and need to stretch to get into proper lifting positions, then the negatives of stretching before training do not out-weigh the fact that you’re going to be able to actually lift because you stretched. For long-term improvements in flexibility, you’ll want to stretch often, and to avoid performance decrements in the gym, just stretch away from your sessions. Either some hours before, after, or on a separate day. If you look at the research on static stretching on long-term performance, so as long static stretching is not done prior to lifting; there seems to be a possible benefit to it. So don’t neglect it just because you hear its bad for gains, this is only true if done prior to the weights. If done separately, it may even enhance your strength gains over time. In any case, you’ll get some flexibility gains while you’re at it.
2. The range of motion
Recent data have shown that doing a full range of motion on upper body and lower body exercises increases hypertrophy aka more growth that means more muscle mass. Use proper form it has its own benefit, and it also helps increasing hypertrophy
3. Ego lifting
Ignore doing weights which you can’t handle it. There are no benefits in doing more heavyweights than your body can recover and perform. Choose your weights according to RPE.
What is RPE?
RPE stands for Rated Perceived Exertion. It is an efficient method of classifying the intensity of a workout. RIR (Reps in Reserve) scale was developed by Mike Tuchscherer which was a better way to know that how many reps are remaining in the set. It a great way to use it in powerlifting and bodybuilding with different methods.
You must have noticed RPE scales in my stories, so this article will give you an idea what I’m referring to. There are many ways to implement RPE in your training. For example, you are assigned to 4 sets x 6 reps at RPE of 8. Now you can perform all four sets with RPE 8 each, or you can autoregulate your loads depending on how you perform that day so that you fall on RPE- 8 that is two reps in reserve. Now if you compare it with percentage program like 85% of 1RM 4×6 Squats, then RPE is more flexible and a better way to train. In the end your performance matters, you may or may not be able to perform well every day due to stress level, sleep, nutrition, etc.
Now suppose you prefer % based plans so how will you implement both? Let me help you with it. For example, you need to squat 5×5 with 80% @ 7-9 RPE. So you performed your first set with RPE 9, so in your 2nd set you can decrease the load and stay in the same RPE range or vice versa. You can even perform all five sets with RPE 9 if you have the confidence and performance (this is rare in most cases).
Implementing RPE in your training is a skill and should be used by intermediate & advanced lifters. So for the newbie, you all should track your every set without assigning any fixed RPE. Once you catch hold your loads, then I would suggest you get onto this RPE scale track.
4. Workout gears
Workout gears can be helpful when one is performing any lift in the gym. It doesn’t prevent you from injuries, but it builds confidence and makes you lift better than worse. They are a great investment and keep you away from most of the pain.
Work hard but do it in a smart way. It’s better to take precautions before getting yourself injured. Learn the basics and implement it. You will get stronger and lift better, and you will have more gains, longevity in your lifting career.
Yashovardhan Singh is a fitness coach with GetSetGo Fitness and a former national football player. He likes to keep a no-nonsense approach to fitness by applying scientific literature to provide results to his clients. Reach him at [email protected] for coaching.