Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a weekend warrior, working out at the gym is an essential component to a good training program. However, pain, stiffness, and injury can slow you down in reaching your fitness goals. Many people assume that sports-related injuries happen during the moment of competition or at a game or practice. However, the most common cause of sports injuries can be from an improper training program. Furthermore, the majority of overuse injuries start off in training, especially the gym. Working out at the gym should make you feel stronger and better, not weaker and broken down. Smart training means staying injury-free and the first place to start any injury prevention is at the gym.
1. Always Pay Attention To Proper Form
It’s an oft-stated warning by coaches, trainers, physical therapists, and fitness experts. However, the notion of having proper form is often forgotten. It’s easy to forget about form when you’re in the midst of a workout. As you strive to push your limits, your focus turns to reaching your next milestone as opposed to your form. However, slipping even once in proper form could mean increasing your risk of an injury. Furthermore, it could even set your performance goals back as bad form can lead to ineffectiveness in training as well as performance. If you’re unsure whether you’re using proper form, it’s important to seek out a professional then. It’s also useful to workout in front of a mirror so that you can spot when you start losing form. If you’re struggling to maintain proper form, it may be time to scale back the training as this may be a sign you’re overdoing it. Overtraining is a big culprit when it comes to many injuries.
2. Move With Control To Stay Injury-Free
When we’re in the zone and move with energy, many times we like to fly through movement. However, this lack of control can be a huge risk-factor in injury. Not having a full range of movement not only means increasing your risk of injury, but it also means lowering your performance levels. Using your full range of movement means building a foundation of strength and mobility, which helps in injury prevention.
3. Use Your Core
You may not think that doing a bicep curl has anything to do with your core. However, you couldn’t be more wrong. Most people think that focusing on one muscle means letting your other muscles go. Granted, when you’re doing a bicep curl, for example, you’re not exactly engaging your leg muscles. However, your core is used most every exercise as the core is the powerhouse of your body. It’s essential to stability and control. A weak or unengaged core means lack of control in movement. This means not only losing proper form but possibly injuring yourself. Furthermore, the movement becomes less effective in strengthening your muscles as you lose form, full movement, and control. While working out, it’s always important to engage your core. Moreover, it’s important to include core exercises in your training program so that you can maintain a strong powerhouse and stay injury-free.