For anyone who lives a healthy, active lifestyle injuries are part of the equation. A sprain, strain or other injury is bound to happen, but there are a few steps one can take to reduce their chances for injury while exercising and participating in athletic activities:
- If you are tired, back off. Don’t push yourself if your body is physically exhausted. Only got three hours of sleep the night before? Then don’t go all out for an end of day gym session. Your lack of energy and focus can result in a nasty fall or sprain.
- Wear proper clothing. Make sure your gym shoes and gear are not worn out. Replace shoes often. Avoid clothing that is too tight or too lose. Let your body free move and breath.
- It’s the gym, not a fashion show. At my former gym, it amazed me on the amount of jewelry, chains, and even rosaries the guys and girls wore while working out. I constantly saw them having move and unwrap their accessories from dumbbells, barbells, etc. Save it for the clubs and parties.
- Going heavy? Use a spotter. Until you are sure you can handle that heavy weight and movement with proper form and technique, have someone spot you. You may be swinging the big boy dumbbells around, but without proper movement and support, you’ll be watching from the sidelines with a sling in no time.
- Master the basics. Know how to properly execute and perform the most basic and essential exercise movements. Don’t focus on the weight, but focus on form. This goes for squats, deadlifts, presses and even basic bicep curls and triceps extensions. I guarantee most guys and gals in the gym could not perform these exercises properly with the weight they think they can handle. A solid foundation will lead to gains and creative modifications.
- Rest. The most underrated part of your training is rest. Build in rest days. Allow your body time to recover after a workout. This is the time when your body is transforming, so give it the time and resources it needs to rebuild itself.