Although it is widely accepted that exercise provides a host of benefits to those who engage in it, it is also known that physical activity carries a risk of injury. Activities as commonplace as walking or as grueling as high-intensity training programs can have those who practice them suffering an injury. Injuries can be even more dramatic based on the exerciser’s age, gender, fitness level, and other factors.
Orthopedic surgeons have seen their fill of orthopedic injuries caused by incorrect exercises at the gym, but they also want their patients to keep staying active since this is crucial to maintaining good health. They also want you to take the time to learn how to prevent getting injured so that you do not have to fear staying healthy through exercise.
Here are some of the most common culprits of exercise injuries:
Jumping raises the heart rate quickly, working well as a warm-up exercise before starting a training routine or as an integral part of a high-intensity program. However, it also puts a great deal of strain on the body, particularly the knees. In the case of box jumps, having to jump high enough to reach a box and then back down to the ground is risky because you can quickly lose form and have your knees suffer for it.
Bench presses are a classic exercise routine. This technique involves lying on your back on a gym bench and lifting a weighted barbell. If this is not done properly, such as when hands are placed too far apart, the risk of suffering a rotator cuff injury increases dramatically due to the excessive stress placed on the shoulders.
These days, it seems as though no exercise routine can be completed without including squats. If knees are not placed correctly by ensuring that they extend past your toes every time you squat down, you are at great risk for injury to your knees and back.
An overhead press is performed by isolating the arms to raise a barbell from shoulder height above the head. Doing it incorrectly can quickly result in back pain. Only perform this move if you can do it without feeling any pain in your arms, shoulders, or back. This is achieved by focusing on keeping the shoulders from rising as the arms go up and by executing the move slowly.
If you experience pain, skip this exercise for a couple of days to allow time to heal, and then attempt it again carefully.
Bicep curls are a favorite because of the positive impact they have on the arms. When they are performed properly, the result is enhanced biceps and triceps. When done incorrectly, injuries to the rotator cuff, arm muscles, and shoulder are common.
It is important to always pay attention to the position of the shoulders when doing biceps curls.
Don’t Let Fear of Injury Keep You from Exercising
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether you will let fear of injury keep you from exercising. However, keep in mind how important exercise is to your overall health. If you are new to the gym or have doubts as to whether you are performing an exercise correctly, ask a personal trainer at the gym and get your questions answered.