Everyone in the gym wants to avoid workout injuries, but they can happen if you don’t take the right precautions. Injuries like sprains, strains, and pulls can happen if you don’t use proper form when exercising, training, or lifting. Warming up and cooling down are also important for making sure that you’re giving your muscles, joints, and ligaments the prep and recovery they need for your workout.
With the right shoes, posture, warming up, cooling down, and other techniques, you can avoid workout injuries. Whether you’re new to the gym or you’ve been hitting the gym for years, it’s always a good idea to brush up your knowledge of workout injury prevention. Refresh yourself on these tips for preventing exercise injuries. Don’t forget to check out our YouCoach personal training packages where our YouCoaches can help you exercise safely.
Wear the Right Workout Shoes to Avoid Exercise Injuries
The first step to prevent injury while exercising starts with sneakers to protect your feet. Choose a sneaker with a good cushion to prevent ankle, knee, and lower back pain. Exercising in worn-out sneakers, especially on the hard surface of a treadmill, will cause unnecessary stress on your legs and feet which can lead to conditions such as shin splints, runner’s knee, and Patellar tendonitis.
When the body is in motion, it creates a kinetic-chain of events that affect neighboring joints, so a cushioned pair of sneakers are essential to a healthy workout session. Your sneakers should be replaced if:
- You have been using your sneakers for more than a year
- The bottom treads of the shoes have gone and flat spots are visible
- The stitches on your shoes are thin and holes are visible on the outer & inner edges
- Your feet are not stable inside your shoes and you are noticing a sliding/rolling sensation when walking or jogging
- There are signs of blisters on your foot and especially your toes
- You are feeling discomfort in your ankles/knees during or after running
There is no difference between your shoes and your car’s shock absorbers. After all, you won’t drive your car with no shock absorbers, would you? So do away with your worn-out sneakers and invest in a new pair to prevent workout injuries.
How to Avoid Workout Injuries
Whether you’re working out with a buddy, a YouCoach, or you’re participating in group fitness classes, you need to take the right steps to avoid workout injuries. Each exercise has its own workout injury prevention methods, but there are some key safety steps to take into account for every workout.
Posture. Correct posture during exercise is the single most important aspect of preventing injuries while exercising. Pay close attention to how your joints are reacting under pressure from weight lifting by either using a machine or free-weights such as dumbbells. Joints should not feel a lot of stress and burden, the workload should be primarily on the muscles.
Hydration. Staying hydrated throughout the day helps to keep your muscles from cramping during or after workouts. Hydrate your body before, during, and after your workout sessions every time as it will help you perform at your highest level. How much water is adequate? A good starting point should be roughly 3.0 liters (100 oz) for males and 2.2 liters (75 oz) for females based on routine moderate exercises.
Self-myofascial release. Don’t worry, this exercise safety tip is easier than it sounds. Also known as MFR, this stretching technique uses foam-rolling to enjoy the benefits of a trigger-point release on your major muscle groups like quads, thoracic spine muscles (mid to upper back), hamstrings, and calves. Overworked muscles limit joint movements resulting in compensation of the nearby joint. This joint compensation can result in reduced ROM (range of motion), but foam rolling techniques can slowly increase ROM. As with any piece of exercise equipment, it is best to consult with your doctor before beginning.
Warm-up, cool down, & stretch. It is essential to warm up before any exercise session as it will increase body temperature, take much needed oxygenated blood to the muscles, and increase heart rate to get the body ready for the workout. To properly warm up before exercising, perform either a bodyweight agility exercise such as jumping jacks or get on a treadmill for a brisk walk or a jog. Stretch before and after your workouts. Correct foam rolling techniques can also be used for warming up and cooling down.
Training with YouCoaches for Proper Form when Exercising
Working out with a YouCoach, whether for a 30-minute workout, group classes, or strength training, can help with preventing exercise injuries. I can be reached at the Youfit Kendall-Crossings location, and it would be my pleasure to assist you through your fitness goals, starting with a thorough complimentary fitness-assessment session.