I recently injured myself in a very silly accident (not gym related) and I won’t be able to workout for the next few weeks.
Even though my injury has nothing to do with my training, it inspired me to write about something I see quite often: gym members getting injured.
I've seen many motivated gym goers with huge potential come and go because their longevity was poor.
By this I mean the fact that they haven't been able to fully realise their potential because they get injured too often which means that they are not in the gym making progress.
The reality is, if you are constantly battling with injuries you will not progress as you potentially could as you are always on and off training.
One of the key elements of my personal training is INJURY PREVENTION.
Here are 4 tips to help you avoid injuries:
1- WARM UP
Warming up does not equal to 5 mins running on the treadmill or rowing. The warm up has to be related to the work out. If you are going to squat you need to warm up the leg muscles and joint in the same range of motion of the working sets. I recommend 3\4 warm up sets (of the actual exercise) progressively increasing the weight till before the first working set.
I am a big advocate of stretching. I would recommend you stretch (5\10 secs) between the warm up sets and also between some of the working sets during the workout. Even more important, stretch for longer (30\45 secs) at the end of the training to release tension in the muscles and maintain your flexibility. Do not stretch a muscle when it’s cold. If you do so, you will increase the risk of injury.
3- LEAVE YOU EGO OUTSIDE THE GYM
Make sure the weight you are using is appropriate for the rep range you are working on and your strength. Keep the tension in the working muscle and to improve longevity further focus on keeping the contraction within the muscle with controlled rep tempo rather than throwing weight around and placing the joint under extra stress. What count are the results you get from training not the amount of weight you can throw in the air.
Water is a key factor when it comes to injury prevention. Make sure you drink adequate amount of water throughout the day (3\4 litres of water) not just before and after workouts. Remember water doesn’t just hydrate your body it is also essential to take your toxins away from your body when you place your body under stress with training.