Common Lifting Injuries (And How to Avoid Them)
Weight training is a fantastic way to not only build muscle, but to lose body fat, boost your energy levels, and clear the mind as well. The benefits of pumping iron have been researched and proven time and time again, but the activity itself can be dangerous, especially if the lifter doesn’t have much experience or the right tools for the job.
Since the main purpose of lifting weights is to improve your health, it is important that weightlifting is done smartly and safely. With the information in this article you will be equipped with the tools you need to minimize your risk of sustaining some of the more common gym injuries and keep you on track to reach your goals.
Knee injuries- The knee is one of the joints most susceptible when it comes to workout injuries. Being a hinge joint, the knee only bends in one direction and it bears a lot of weight just supporting the body when standing or walking. Whenever you perform lifts like squat or deadlift, poor form or too much weight can result in the tearing of tendons or ligaments.
These types of injuries can keep you out of the gym for months and have lasting effects on your performance. Properly warming up and focusing on form can make a huge difference on your chances of suffering a knee injury.
Making sure your feet are about shoulder-width apart when executing lower body lifts helps prevent knee injury because it keeps the load on the part of the knee that is supposed to bend. There are also knee sleeves that are worn by
many weightlifters that promote blood flow to the joint as well as added support.
Wrist Injuries- The wrist is another at-risk joint when it comes to lifting injuries. Lifts like bench press and dumbbell curls cause a lot of unnatural pressure on the wrist that sometimes results in hyperextension and/or wrist sprains. Longer sets and heavier weight can cause the wrist quite a bit of stress and can be quite painful.
While the saying goes: “No pain, no gain,” a wrist injury that keeps you out of the gym often results in loss. Lifting within or slightly above your limit is a good way to help prevent injury, but even then wrist injuries can occur due to the chronic stress of regular use.
This is where training tools like wrist wraps and lifting straps come in handy– no pun intended. Both of these accessories reduce the stress on the hands and the wrists and oftentimes even result in new personal records!
Back injuries- The back has some of the largest muscle groups in the body, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t also prone to injury. In fact, back pain is extremely common, especially for beginners that are a little overzealous at the squat rack. Poor posture is the number one reason for back pain and injury, but it takes time to develop the right technique, so what are you supposed to do?
First of all, starting with low weight until you truly understand and can recreate the proper form of lifts like deadlifts and squats is important. Keeping your spine in a neutral position while lifting with the legs may sound simple, but it takes practice to really get it down.
A shortcut to keeping your spine and lower back properly supported is to use a good quality lifting belt. This is why most powerlifters use them. In fact, using a lifting belt even aids in your performance by helping you keep a good posture and use your core more efficiently as you perform lifts like squats, deadlifts, cleans, and more.
Bottom Line- If you want to truly maximize your results from the work you put in, it’s important that you protect your body. The good news is that there are many fantastic products and resources at your disposal to help you meet your fitness goals in the most safe and effective way possible. A great place to start is riptoned.com. Rip Toned specializes in high-quality training equipment and accessories and offers a wealth of information that can help those who are new to the weightroom as well as seasoned gym rats.