Weightlifting is a very common activity for many people, as it helps to increase your muscle mass, improve your flexibility, and improve your overall health. People are drawn to weightlifting for many reasons. Weightlifting is a great activity to decrease body fat percentage, increase their muscle mass, and maintain their current build. Regardless of the reason, weightlifting can be enjoyable so long as individuals perform with caution and care.
Even in a controlled environment such as a gym, there is always the potential for injury when it comes to weightlifting. Common injuries in weightlifting include herniated disks, tennis elbow, pulls and tears, and patellar tendonitis.
While some injuries may not be avoidable, many of the injuries that occur from weightlifting can be avoided. Common causes of injury include lifting too much weight, poor form, improper warm-up, and poor diet. Most of these things can be controlled, so it’s important to look at your daily regimen to see if there is any potential for injury.
The following are a few of the way you can prevent injury during weightlifting:
Don’t Overbear One Body Part
Anytime someone is lifting weights, it’s common to use all of the energy in the legs, arms, or back to lift the weight. Regardless of what body part you’re targeting, it’s important to focus on gathering strength from various body parts—specifically your abdominals and glutes. This is especially important when you’re doing lunges and squats.
Putting all of your focus on the back, legs, or arms can be detrimental. Being aware of what body parts you’re using is important to avoiding putting too much of a load on weaker body parts. Stay strong in your core and use the entire body to lift, push, and pull.
Weightlifting requires the muscles to be warm and flexible. Going into the gym cold and stiff is a recipe for pulls and strains, so a proper warm-up is the key to preventing injury during weightlifting. It’s a good idea to start with some light cardio to get the blood pumping, and do some basic stretches prior to weightlifting to prime your body for the task at hand.
Similarly, a thorough cooldown that includes cardio and stretching will also be of benefit. Focus on stretching out the muscles you’ve used and take your time to ensure you won’t feel too sore the following day.
Use Proper Form
It is incorrect to assume that how much you lift is more important than how you lift. Unfortunately, many people do not know that if you are not using the proper form in an exercise, you’re not going to see any kind of improvement. In fact, poor form is more likely to cause injury than bigger weights.
If you’re not sure if you’re using proper form, consider basic guidelines for proper weightlifting form or have a partner watch you to ensure you’re doing it properly.
If you’ve had previous injuries you want to protect or you’re looking for added support when weightlifting, consider bracing as a way to prevent injury. There are lots of options available for injury prevention, including quality knee braces and quality shoulder braces, which are often common areas for injury.
Braces will not completely remove the possibility of injury, but modifying your form and implementing a good warmup will help protect your safety. However, body bracing can help to add compression to specific areas for added warmth and support. Whether you need support for your knees, your lower back, or wrists, there is a brace that can keep your muscles comfortable and performing at their best.
Not surprisingly, the fuel that you put into your body before a workout can have a large effect on your performance. Diets that include lots of sugars and empty carbs will not contribute to your strength gains as well as filling it with good carbs, proteins, and vitamins.
If you’re weightlifting to improve your size and strength, quality nutrition is the key to muscle growth. The right foods will also be beneficial to give you the strength and energy you need to perform; without them, you run the chance of burning out, becoming tired, or feeling weaker.
If you want to prevent injury, provide yourself with foods that are good for weightlifting to help with your performance and safety.
Weightlifting can be an extremely beneficial activity, as it helps to improve muscles mass, reduce unhealthy weight, and increase energy. Without the proper preparation and approach, however, injury can occur more frequently. If you’re new to weightlifting, it’s always a good idea to start with a trainer who can show you around the machines and weights and teach you how to use them safely and effectively.