It is important to stay injury free as any injury can make you incapacitated for long periods of time and they can reoccur at later times disrupting your training.
Rather than trying to lift too much weight at the gym and risk injury, it would be better to reduce the weight and do more repetitions of the same exercise.
Stretching your muscles before a workout or other form or exercise such as a run or a walk will help to reduce the chance of injury.
It is always wise to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program if you have any doubts about any aspect of your health. If you have had prior injuries to any parts of your body you might need to ‘work around’ these when planning your training program to ensure they aren’t aggravated and cause you to miss valuable training time.
With weight training you can, under some circumstances, still train parts of your body if you have injured other areas, but it is often difficult as resistance training usually involves the whole of the body.
Training with machines might be an option.
With walking and running it is obvious that damage to your legs will quickly put an end to your training so stretching your legs before and after exercise, particularly your hamstrings will help to eliminate problems. If you do suffer an injury, you will need to determine whether it is wise to continue training, albeit with less intensity, or to rest completely until the injury has recovered completely.
Sometimes light exercise can help with recovery whereas other times it can delay your recovery and often make the problem worse.
It is times like this that professional advice from your doctor or fitness trainer will be invaluable. You should never be training to the extent that you are susceptible to injury as injuries can reoccur throughout your life once a muscle, tendon or ligament has been damaged.
Some Common Injuries:
Some of the most common injuries occur to those parts of the body that are also the hardest to repair. Many people who are using resistance training as their preferred form of fitness, will injure their shoulders or lower back more often than other parts of the body.
The shoulders are quite susceptible to injury as they are activated with many different exercises and some of these exercises such as the bench press can involve the use of substantial weight. It is imperative that you do sufficient warm up exercises for your shoulders before you even start to lift the lightest of weights.
Shoulder injuries can take a very long time to mend and as they are used in so many exercises it will stop or hinder you from doing most upper body workouts.
Using weight machines can reduce the incidence of injury as the movement is controlled but you will be missing out in the strengthening the occurs will all the other muscles that are used for balance and control when using free weights such as dumbbells and barbells.
As you age it could be more beneficial to move from free weights to weight machines as we become more susceptible to injury as we age.
The lower back is another area of concern for many people both with resistance training and aerobic training.
Some of the mass building exercises such as squats can place big loads on the lower back and unless you are performing the exercises with the correct movements you will always be exposed to the risk of injury.
This is where a professional fitness trainer can help to ensure you are doing the exercises correctly. Strengthening the abdominal muscles will help to support your lower back and this will also help to reduce the chance of injury to your back.