Lifting can take its toll on your body just hours after a workout or gradually over a period of time.
Weight lifters are prone to serious injuries which can lead to long-term effects.
So, How To Prevent Weight Lifting Injuries?
Therefore, it is important to make use of preventive measures which include the way you embark on your lifting activities, and pre-workouts, to what you eat, how much rest you get and your general lifestyle outside of the gym.
Injuring yourself is not something you’d want to happen again if you’ve experienced it before.
Plus, if you’re just getting started, you would benefit from knowing how to lift the proper way, as well as ways to participate in the activity without getting hurt.
Below are 6 tips to prevent weight lifting injuries.
1. Always Warm Up First
Warming up before lifting weights is essential as it pumps blood to particular areas of your body.
This lowers the chance of pulling a muscle or injuring your joints.
Skipping meals every now and then may not have much of an effect and neither may skipping the last part of your workout.
If you skip a warm-up session and end up pulling a muscle or injuring a joint, you won’t be able to optimize your gains or perform for the next few weeks because of the healing process.
Make sure you dedicate at least 5 minutes of warming up before you start lifting, as it’s the best way to prevent weight lifting injuries.
Giving your body a proper warm up will not only prevent injuries, but also provide you with a number of benefits.
You’ll see improved athletic performance due to the increased blood flow, bringing more oxygen to your cells.
This creates more energy for your body.
Your core body temperature will raise along with your metabolism, which allows you to burn more calories. Plus, adding a warm-up routine only takes a few minutes, your body deserves it!
2. Stretch Frequently
Stretching assists in making you more flexible, plus it improves your strength and balance, and also to prevent weight lifting injuries!
As well as preventing soreness, it lowers the risk of you becoming muscle-bound, which is something a lot of weight lifters and body builder’s experience.
Stretch before, during and after your workout as it decreases the risk of injury during lifting activities and even after it.
Our muscles lose elasticity and become tighter as we age, especially for those of us who are older than 30.
Some safe stretching exercises you can try to improve strength and flexibility are the standing back extension, sitting trunk rotations, backbends, and standing side bends, just to name a few.
3. Use Proper Form
The quickest way to get injured from lifting is to use poor techniques.
Work alongside a fitness expert who can watch and evaluate your performance.
This will help you improve your technique as well as lessening the risks of getting injured.
If you’re lifting at home or without a fitness expert, make sure to research the proper technique to avoid injuries.
You can find many YouTube videos and articles to perfect your newest lift.
If you have been training for a long period of time, you could also use the gym mirrors as a guide to make sure your posture and form are correct.
The Mayo Clinic has a series of how-to videos so you can check your basic exercises and make sure you’re executing them properly.
4. Exercise Smartly
A lot of builders don’t exercise in a way that optimizes their performance at the same time as keeping them safe.
You can make your body greater if you lift the right weight instead of one that’s twice your size.
It’s better to start with smaller weights, then gradually build up, rather than just going for the heaviest one there.
Also, during your lifting workouts, get a spotter to support you.
Make sure to invest in the appropriate equipment to help protect your body.
Last year, I wanted to focus on my squat game, but started experiencing knee pain.
To prevent further injury and to save my knees for the future, I invested in a pair of knee sleeves to create protective cushioning around the anterior knee and patella.
This small action could have prevented further injury down the road.
5. Eat Right, Get Enough Rest and Stay Hydrated
Eating healthily and incorporating lots of fruit and vegetables serves as a source of protein.
This can quickly repair injured muscles, give you energy before and after workouts and nourish your body with nutrients that aid in preventing you from being susceptible to injuries.
Vitamin C reduces the amount of cortisol secreted in the body which ultimately leads to a speedy healing process.
Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water regularly, this will help flush out toxins.
Make sure you always get enough rest as this will help you perform better and keep you focused during workouts.
Many don’t think a good night’s sleep is important, but it is vital for functioning and concentrating during workouts.
Those who look after their bodies outside of the gym generally are less prone to injuries developed from lifting.
6. Avoid being a “Weekend Warrior”
We are all guilty of this from time to time.
You have an insanely busy week and life gets the best of you.
You think, “I can make up for it on the weekend.”
Trying to pack your weekly workouts into a couple gym sessions over the weekend is a recipe for disaster, unless you enjoy seeing your Doctor on Monday morning.
Working out is a consistent investment.
By trying to overdo your weights, or making up for a few missed gym sessions you’re putting too much strain on your muscles and joints.
Especially if you sat at your desk all week and your muscles have weakened.
You’ll be able to reap the full rewards of weight lifting if you stick to a consistent routine.
You can do this by finding ways to stay motivated.
I commonly see weight lifters try to take on too much too soon and easily get burnt out.
Figure out what works best with your schedule and make it part of your daily routine.
Maybe you’re a morning lifter and like to start your day on the right foot, or perhaps you need to burn off steam after a long day of work.
The time of day isn’t important, what’s important is what works best for you.
I also find it rewarding to find a gym buddy.
This person not only helps keep you accountable, but will make sure you’re using proper form and provide motivation.
No one is perfect, and it’s easy to fall off the workout regime, but getting right back on the horse is what will help you see results without injury.
You can prevent weight lifting injuries if you exercise smartly, look after your body by maintaining a healthy diet and make sure to stretch and warm up.
Thankfully, there are lots of things you can do to prevent injuries.
Make use of correct techniques, start off with small weights and gradually increase the weighs and you’ll have fewer problems with injuries.
Ross is on the content team for Garage Gym Builder. When he isn’t perfecting his squat or trying out new protein recipes, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters in Des Moines, Iowa.