Preventing Muscle Training Injuries
If you hurt yourself while training the effects are more far reaching than just the injury. You won't be able to
work that muscle or joint until it heals and that can affect other parts of your training regimen.
It is best to avoid training injuries by being judicious in your approach to your workout.
Warm Up Your Muscles and Limber Up Your Joints:
Warm up your body properly before weight
lifting with some light cardio exercises until you begin to perspire. Then stretch your muscles and limber up
your joints with some stretching exercises.
Pay particular attention to areas prone to injury; shoulders, knees, hamstrings and lower back.
Begin Your Routine With A Warm Up Set:
Use a light weight and high repetitions for a warm up set. This will get the muscle ready for harder work and
your cardio system pumping.
For example, if your first exercise is the bench press, begin with a light weight and perform
thirty repetitions with a wide grip.
Always work up to your heavier weights. Don't start out heavy without preparing your muscles and your mind for
the big iron. Performing several intermediate steps on the way to your maximum is smart lifting.
Use A Workout Partner Or Spotter:
If you are going to be using heavy weights, have a workout partner or someone to spot you when you work up to
your heaviest sets.
A spotter will give you the confidence to try that extra rep or two. They will also be prepared to ease some of
the weight off you if you falter.
Most injuries occur when you over extend yourself on weight, or when you have to struggle to
complete the lift and get the bar back on the rack. A competent spotter will prevent this from occurring.
If you are working out alone, make sure you set the limit stops on the rack or machine. In this manner you won't
get caught with a weight across your chest or shoulders and unable to get out fromunder it.
Use Good Form When Performing Lifts:
You should always use proper form when lifting any weights, heavy or light. If you get into the habit of good
form and balance, you minimize any risk of injury. Do not use "cheating" movements to lift heavy weights.
Cheating is defined as giving extra impetuous to the weight by bouncing if off your chest (bench press) or
rocking your body to give it a start or get past a sticking point (barbell curl).
Cheating presses or curls benefit the negative side of the exercise and tend to put added strain on joints and
tendons. Cheating reps are a prelude to injury.
Wear a lifting belt. Not only do they provide support to your lower back, but they support your
abdominal area while performing heavy lifts. Use wrist wraps to give support as well. Using a lifting strap helps grow muscle and this might be something
you might want to explore as well.
If you want to get a "negative" workout, use a training partner to help with your heavy lifts. The partner will
help perform the contraction side of the exercise so you can slowly perform the extension side.
Negatives are a great way to build power, but don't ever cheat to get them done.
If You Do Get Injured:
At some point in your pumping iron, I'm sure you will suffer an injury. Don't try to work your way through the
injury because chances are you will only make it worse.
Allow a sufficient time for healing before employing the injured area again and if you want to train with an injury, be sure to take note of causing a more serious
When you first suffer a muscle pull or strain a tendon, apply cold water or ice to bring down the swelling.
After the swelling abates, apply heat to increase the circulation and begin the healing process.
If necessary, use some type of support to the injured area while working other body parts. When you are able to
work the injured area again, use support at first to prevent re-injuring yourself.
Appropriate support would be elastic bandages, wrist wraps, elbow wraps, knee wraps and the like.
Want to know the professional body builders secret to injury prevention? You might be surprised to know that
Pro body builders can't afford to be slowed down by injuries, so they use yoga to improve their flexibility,
their musculoskeletal system and their balance.