us have heard the saying, “Go hard or go home.” This is true. When you are at the gym you should work hard to get the most out of your workout. However, and this is a big ‘HOWEVER,’ allow me to tack on “be safe when doing so.” You’ve probably seen that guy in the gym who is attempting to curl a 200 lb. barbell while simultaneously throwing his back out. Yikes. That’s why this list for how to prevent injuries is for both a brand new health club member and even the most seasoned gym go-er. 1. Know your fitness level
. Ok, so maybe we all desire to be that insane crazy fitness instructor (Sarah Rhoden
) who can teach a spinning class, Bodypump class and then Ab Ripper class, bench press her body weight for 22 reps, bang out 100 pushups, run a couple miles, complete a few hundred pull-ups and at the end still be smiling singing and saying words like “rubbish.” That’s probably not you. If you have to start slow, start slow. Too much too soon can cause injury and burn-out. 2. Check your form.
You want to get the most bang for your buck when you are doing a weight or cardio routine. Improper form can cause both short term and long term injuries. Also, if you don’t go through the proper range of motion for a muscle, you will not engage all of the muscle fibers and you won’t get the results you desire. 3. Listen to your body.
Are you just getting over being sick? Are you properly hydrated? How long before working out did you eat? Do you feel more tired than normal? Our bodies are constantly changing; we have to listen to them. 4. Don’t believe everything you read.
How many magazines have you read that have conflicting theories on fat loss, diet advice, and miracle workouts that “shrink your midsection 4 inches in two weeks”? It’s crazy and overwhelming. Check if the source you are reading is based on exercise science facts and if it is reliable. FYI, gossip magazines and fad anything do not fit this category. 5. You aren’t too cool to ask for help.
If you have a question about how a machine works, that is why there are trainers! If you need a spot, ask - instead of having the weight collapse on you. It seems so basic, but sometimes people are hesitant to ask for help! Don’t be. 6. Warm Up & Cool down.
During the winter do you just hop in your car in 10 degree weather and start driving? No. You warm up the car and scrape off the ice so you can see clearly, then you drive. The same goes with our bodies. We can’t just hop right into something without getting those muscles warm first. Don’t forget to stretch when you are done. 7. Stay Hydrated.
Learn to love water. Before, during and after your workouts. If the workout is intense, make an effort to take at least 2-3 sips every 10-20 minutes. After you are finished, replenish those fluids lost through sweat. We can easily lose 3-4 lbs of water weight during just one cardio session. Drink it back. 8. Ditch the “jorts”
How are jean shorts to the knee comfortable to workout in? All I think is, “horrible chaffing”, and that’s a seriously horrible injury. Sorry, I just went there. 9. Rest. Recover. Re-vamp.
Doing the same workout over and over again will not only fail to produce results, but it may cause overtraining and overuse injury. Switch up what you do to keep your body changing and beat boredom!10. Don’t let the treadmill go faster than your feet.
I’ve seen several people fall.
So, in conclusion, “Go hard
, workout safe
, and go home in one piece
*Kate is Personal Trainer at Elevations Health Club.