Injuries are a part of life when it comes to working out. Many people suffer injuries no matter how careful their form, as the heavy weights they are lifting prove too much for their bodies at some point. Injuries can set you back a few months, so it’s important to avoid them as much as possible. Here are a few of the common exercise injuries, along with tips on how to avoid them:
A dislocated shoulder is just one of the problems that may occur when you play sports, though thankfully it’s not as common when lifting weights. Some CrossFitters suffer from shoulder dislocation injuries, which are caused by incorrect movements of the arm. If you fall and land on your elbow, it can lead to a painful dislocation. To avoid this injury, make it a point to roll when you hit the ground. Translate your forward motion into a roll, and you’ll roll up onto your feet every time you fall.
Also known as “foot pains”, this is fairly common among people who are new to high-intensity exercise, particularly running and sprinting. The pain starts in the bottom of your foot, and it can spread through the bones to the rest of your forefoot. It’s caused by inflammation in the arch ligament, your body’s reaction to damage done by excessive jumping or rapid movements. To reduce the risk of injury, start off by jogging instead of running or sprinting, and spend less time working on your jumps for the first few weeks. Give your body time to get used to the exercise, and throw in calf raises with flexion to your daily workouts. There will be far less pain this way.
Slipped and bulging discs are fairly common injuries among gym newbies who don’t know how to work their lower backs safely. You may not be lifting enough weight to merit a back brace yet, but you still need to be careful with working your back and core. Back injuries can put you out of commission for not just weeks, but sometimes even months. To reduce the risk of back injuries, keep your back straight every time you squat, lunge, or deadlift. Avoid rounding your back, as that compresses the cartilage between your vertebra–increasing your risk of damage. Stretch more, especially if you spend many hours a day sitting down.
The Achilles tendon is found in the back of your foot, connecting your heel to your calves. Straining it is a lot easier than you think, particularly if you are new to hill runs. The incline changes the way your foot hits the ground, and it can cause tendonitis–swelling and pain in the tendon. This is not an injury you want to ignore, as it will not get better with time. Every time you walk, your foot will hurt, and the injury can worsen. Warm up well before trying to tackle hills, and make sure to stretch your ankles well.
If you do a lot of water-based cardio training, your risk of swimmer’s shoulder is much greater. This injury is caused by the repeated rotation of your arm in the shoulder joint, which puts wear and tear on the joint and increases the chance of a muscle tear. Interestingly enough, the solution to this problem is the way you breathe. If you follow the proper breathing patterns, your shoulder girdle and rib cage will be properly aligned when you swim. Hang from a chin-up bar and feel your breath, and it will give you an idea of how you should be doing it the right way.