Top 5 Common Workout Injuries, How to Avoid them

‘No Pain, No Gain’

A very popular expression in the fitness community. Somewhat true especially for muscle building but this does not mean injuries and chronic pains.

If you’re still hurting yourself while working out, then probably you’re doing it all wrong or just pushing yourself too hard.

Overuse injuries, repetitive motions, incorrect form, inadequate rest and general wear-tear  account for nearly 80 percent of all workout and exercise injuries.

These injuries can happen to anyone, regardless of age and fitness level. But then you should know how to prevent them.

The following are common workout injuries, how they happen and how to avoid them:

Ankle Sprain

This is the usual problem while running on a treadmill.  Sometimes you lose focus and accidentally half step on and half off the treadmill while the belt is still moving.

Jumping off the treadmill quickly will also cause your ankle to roll in an unnatural direction and causes sprain.

To avoid spraining your ankle, attach the clip; which most treadmills have, to your clothes which stops the machine incase you fall.

Shin Splints

Medial tibial stress syndrome or known as shin splints is pain along the inner edge of your tibia (shinbone). This is common in exercises which involve running and jumping.

You’re most likely to inflame your muscles or at greater risk of shin splints if you increase the intensity and frequency of your workouts too soon.

To avoid shin splints, wearing of proper shoes is important. Warm up first like doing jumping jacks to improve blood circulation and to warm muscles. Increase your workout intensity gradually.

Patellofemoral Syndrome

“Runners Knee” or Patellofemoral syndrome is pain under the kneecap (patella) that worsens from running, walking downstairs or sitting with bent knees for a long period of time.

The pain is caused by the misalignment of the bones in the lower leg, which cause abnormal gliding between the kneecap and thigh bone (femur) resulting to wear and tear of the cartilage and bone surfaces.

To evade the syndrome,choose exercises which strengthen your quadriceps and hip flexors. These will keep your knees healthy.

Lower Back Pain

The pain is sudden and sharp on the lower back, and usually the result of overdoing your workouts. Improper form in squats or deadlifts will damage your lower back. Worse case scenarios are nerve compression and disk herniation.

To prevent lower back pain, find your neutral spine alignment. How?

Lie on your back, bend your knees and keep feet flat on the floor. Your spine should touch the floor under your neck and lower back allowing the natural curves of your back to absorb shock during exercise.

Before lifting weights, make sure your in correct form, then add weights gradually. Before squatting, do the leg press or hip sled first to add strength and endurance on the lower extremities.

Rotator Cuff Injury

There are four main muscles comprising the rotator cuff – supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. Rotator cuff surrounds and stabilizes the shoulder  joints.

Injury on the rotator cuff is usually due to repetitive overhead activities. To avoid pain after workouts, avoid slouched posture, minimize too heavy weights on overhead exercises, and lat pulldowns behind the neck – do it in front instead.

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