How to Avoid the Most Common Gym Injuries
There’s no doubt that going to a gym is a great way to get in shape; however, there are plenty of mishaps that can occur whilst working out so it pays to be aware of the ones that are currently on the rise!
It may seem like scaremongering, but the vast majority of gym accidents are completely avoidable. With that in mind, below are the most common forms of injury that people are currently encountering at gyms across the country. With a little knowledge and foresight, you can avoid falling foul to the injuries that many unfortunate gym-goers have had to learn about the hard way…
Repetition, repetition, repetition… – human beings tend to be creatures of habit. This runs into every facet of our lives and our gym habits are no exception. 90% of gym users find an exercise routine that they feel comfortable with and perform it session after session. Although this may not sound like such a bad thing in itself, it is the effects on the muscles and connective tissues and the stresses that overuse has on them that is the issue. One simple way to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you is by mixing it up a little. Cross-training has been shown to be extremely effective at putting a body through its paces, without the pressures that could be induced by repetitive strain-related injuries.
Slowly does it – whether or not this point is related to the spate of superhero/comic book movies that have been released recently is up for debate; however, it’s undeniable that over-exertion injuries are on the rise. These often come as a result of people who “dive in at the deep end” far too hard. Instead of gradually building fitness up, some people choose to hit the gym really hard on their first few visits. Whilst the ethos behind this is admirable, it can very easily end up in misery through putting stress on a cardiac/muscular system that simply can’t handle it. Instead of running such risks, it’s always better to ease into it and give your body time to adequately adjust to its new regime.
Rules aren’t made to be broken… – an alarming number of injuries at the gym are being reported simply because of poor health & safety. This is a pretty generalised concern and is entirely avoidable; it ranges from misuse of gym equipment to more juvenile issues, such as running around in wet locker rooms or by the sides of swimming pools (common sense people!). There is no specific injury that arises from health & safety neglect; it’s all down to luck and can range from scrapes and grazes to head injuries – it just depends on how fortunate (or unfortunate) you are!
Cool warm ups -warming up properly is an important part of anybody’s gym experience, but more and more people are managing to pick up injuries through poor warm up techniques. The most common of these are ill-advised stretches, where people push too hard to “feel” as though they are stretching the tendon. To be fair, they are stretching it but usually too far. It is much more advisable to go slowly with stretches instead of immediately putting too much force onto a tendon/ligament that may not respond too well to it!
Nathan Clarke is a guest blogger writing on behalf of UK legal specialists Pannone about avoiding injuries in the gym.