How many times I’ve asked myself this question in the past? Why on earth do I keep getting injured in the gym?
Let’s talk seriously about this because it’s an important topic.
We can make preparations to prevent ourselves from getting injured in the gym.
Stick with me on this one, and I will explain what we must do to not hurt ourselves again during our workouts!
How to Avoid Getting Injured in the Gym
Exercising and working out in the gym is a great way to stay fit and healthy, but you should also be careful to not hurt yourself. Warming up before you begin your training is a good way to minimalize the chance of getting injured during your workout. Also, you have to make sure you know your limits, recognize your fitness level, and use the gym equipment correctly.
Learning the right technique when lifting weights is crucial, and as I mentioned, don’t lift weights with your ego. If you feel any discomfort, slow down your movement, lift a lighter weight or call it a day. Using a personal trainer or a spotter might help you to feel a bit more comfortable during your training sessions. Also make sure you stay hydrated and make sure you rest and recover between workouts. Good, quality sleep plays a major role in the recovery process.
My Injury History.
I have struggled with my shoulder’s torn Teres Minor muscle for two decades. I didn’t get injured in the gym initially. However, I did hurt my shoulder various times afterward while working out in the gym though.
Back in the day, I didn’t know the things I know today. Nowadays, I take my health much more seriously and have learned to better care for myself. An essential part is understanding how to prevent getting injured in the gym.
We all might have our physical ”weaknesses”; especially when we get older. Even more, a reason to keep on reading is to reduce the chance of getting injured in the gym again in future workouts.
Why Do I Keep Getting Injured In The Gym? 5 Tips: How To Avoid It!
Let’s discuss the five reasons why we keep getting injured while working out in the gym and how to prevent it.
1- You are not warming up.
You’re all pumped up and ready for a great workout. You pack the weight onto the barbell and start your chest exercise. And, ouch, a sharp pain in the front delt of the shoulder. I understand. At least, that used to be me.
The ”new me” starts walking on the treadmill for 5 minutes to increase my body temperature. Then I do some stretching. I mainly focus on stretching and warming up the shoulder and neck area. I consider those my ”weaker” areas, and I pay special attention to preparing those parts for the upcoming workout.
Here’s a perfect example of a warm-up exercise that improved my workouts and my overall posture a lot and prevented me from getting hurt in the gym at the same time.
Learn to listen to your body and realize your strengths and weaknesses.
Acknowledge where and how you’ve been hurt before and try to find a way to prevent it. That is very important to further plan your fitness journey without getting injured in the gym.
A 5-10 minute warm-up will prepare you for your workout and help you avoid getting injured in the gym.
2- You let your ego lift the weights.
It’s something natural, and most of us have experienced this. We feel fantastic; we want to go heavier and impress the other people in the gym. Strange, though, because nobody cares how much you lift.
We put too much weight on the barbell, or we pick up two dumbbells that are too heavy and start our set. It’s all in your head.
Going through your workout correctly is almost impossible when you load more weight than you can handle. You will automatically “cheat” during the exercise, which will result in bad posture, which will lead to the possibility of getting injured in the gym.
Constantly you hear that you have to lift a ton of weight to put on muscle mass. Way more important is to lift a lighter weight and control the motion from start to finish. FEEL what you are doing and what you want to accomplish. Concentrate and aim for that maximum MIND-MUSCLE connection.
Believe me; you can grow impressive muscles that way, with less possibility of getting injured in the gym.
But I see all these bodybuilders lifting huge weights!
Usually, the guys who lift massive weights are the ones who have a lot of experience. They did not start that way! They developed the muscles and the proper technique to correctly control the weight “through the air” and can push, pull or lift very heavy.
And even though these experienced guys have been working out for years, they still can get hurt. They push their limits and go too far sometimes, which can result in tearing a tendon or muscle. You see that often.
For most of us, this type of training and pushing our boundaries in such an extreme way is unnecessary.
Stick to the lighter weight, avoid failure, and concentrate on controlling the movements during the exercise. Go slow and steady, and you’ll be fine.
3- You are ignoring your weaker muscles.
First, you have to find your weak points. It’s a telling sign if you have balance issues during an exercise.
I’ll give you an example: If you are doing deadlifts and your quads are burning like hell while doing them, it’s a sign that you are quad-dominant, which means overactive quads. Usually, that means you have a weaker posterior chain (your hamstrings and glutes).
If you are aware of that, you should immediately do exercises to strengthen those muscles in the posterior chain. Find exercises that isolate the glutes or the hamstrings.
By doing that, you will balance out the upper leg muscles and have less chance of injuring yourself with that exercise.
The same thing can happen if you do a bench press, and during the exercise, you notice that your triceps or anterior delts (shoulder) are giving up before your chest. In this case, you should strengthen those muscles to balance things out for that particular exercise.
This way, you will develop that, so desired by many, symmetric body, and you will go through your exercises in better form, less inclined to injure yourself.
4- You are not stretching.
Guilty! I ignored stretching for many years. I’m still not the most flexible guy in the world, but I do my best. Nowadays, I realize the importance of stretching. I mean as a warm-up and a cool-down routine.
Your muscles and ligaments will tighten up when you work out in the gym. That is normal, but in the long run, this will inhibit movements and limit your performance.
By stretching, you can prevent injury and develop a better range of motion. A proper way of planning your workout could be: 10 minutes warm-up – your workout and finish off with 10 minutes of stretching exercises.
5- You are not controlling the movement of your reps.
This I see so often in the gym. A guy throwing those weights around very fast. He is not focused on the quality of the rep but on the quantity.
It’s like his mind says; let’s get it over with fast.
Sometimes it occurs that you want to perform a set of 10 reps. After five reps, you feel that the repetition is getting harder, and you decide to complete the rest of the reps in bad form and mostly fast. Too fast. Control, concentration, and the mind-muscle connection are gone. This is a classic reason for getting injured in the gym.
You are only focused on the quantity, not the quality. Let me tell you this. Five well-performed repetitions are way better than 15 bad ones. And I’m not only talking about preventing injuries here but also about muscle growth.
While recovering from my shoulder injury, I learned I had to slow down my reps considerably. Especially during ” the negative” of the repetition, I adjusted the speed drastically. I started to use my muscles as ‘breaks’ on the way down. My shoulder pain disappeared fast, and I began to control and feel the motion of the weights a lot better.
Most of my workouts, I still perform that way. It feels good and helps me prevent getting injured in the gym. Sounds good to me.
It’s a bummer to get injured in the gym during your workout routine. It mostly hurts, but that’s not even the most critical part. It will stop you from being able to continue your workout routine. It depends on your injury, but my shoulder injury, for example, kept me out of the gym for several months.
One of the reasons that I was the victim of the famous ‘YOYO’ effect in the past is because of getting injured in the gym. It’s just a shame. You finally found the pace of your workout routine; you’re hyped up, making considerable progress, and SNAP. You get injured.
Make sure you don’t make the same five mistakes described in this article, and you will have a better chance of not getting yourself injured in the gym.
Well, my friends, thank you so much for reading.
Please let me know if you ever suffered injuries while working out in the gym. And tell me how your recovery went.
Would you like to add some tips with us on how to avoid getting injured in the gym?
I would also love to receive your opinion about my blog and articles. That way, I can learn and understand better what you guys want me to write about in future articles, so please, if you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comment section below.
Stay healthy and strong!