Irrespective of what your fitness goals are be it to stay in shape or to get that buff body, copping injuries at the gym is surely not one of them. However, a study at the University of Arkansas says that there has been up to a 35 percent increase in gym injuries in recent years.
Two major things are responsible for these injuries; poor posture during the day that eventually weakens the entire musculoskeletal structure and trying to do too much too fast in reps and weights.
It is best for you to work with a certified trainer to help ensure that you’re using the right technique and try to think of yourself as your own trainer by not making your goals too personal.
This will help you to be realistic about your goals and avoid the common injuries like the ones listed below.
Lower back Injuries
If you sit rounded for most of the day in your upper back and you go to the gym later on to perform an overhead shoulder lift standing, your upper back cannot extend properly. They straighten and arch upward from their lower back which this may result in a nervous breakdown and even permanent injury because it’s getting all the stress.
Stretch and strengthen your upper back to compensate for all that hunching you do at the office. Perform straight-armed wall squats in with the rest of your lifting regimen. Sit against a wall. Flatten your lower back into the wall, by tilting your pelvis under you.
Straighten your arms in front of you, and try to raise arms up to your ears, without letting a gap form behind your lower back. And whenever you can,stand and walk around at least every hour while you’re at work to help engage the bigger muscles in your body.
If you have ever complained about pain in your hands and shoulders, it could contribute to injuries later on at the gym. When you type on a computer, your arms have to internally rotate and this puts pressure on the shoulders.
Doing a chest press, shoulder press or pushups all rotate your arms at the gym later on and may result in Supraspinatus tendonitis, an overuse injury of the rotator cuff.
To Prevent this, externally rotate your arms to balance your shoulders. Use rowing cables by grabbing them in front of you and pulling the arms back, rotating your palms away from you and behind you.
Sitting with rounded shoulders affects your neck and upper back making those areas painful. Going to the gym and maintaining the same posture while doing a bench press can cause neck Injuries because a lack of mobility and extension in your upper back will put stress on your lower back and neck.
When doing the bench press, be sure that your lower back and neck are properly supported. Avoid putting additional stress on your neck with exercises that cause you to raise your arms over your head, especially if you’ve had a stressful day at work.
Your desk job is also responsible for knee injuries you may suffer at the gym. This is because we hardly use our hip.muscles during the day and when we decide to stretch them later on, a knee injury may suffice.
If your feet is unstable, due to improper footwear, and hip muscles are weak, the knee gets all the stress. Participating in leg extensions, curls, and presses don’t help resolve the problem because they don’t strengthen the muscles of the feet and hips.
You can prevent knee injuries by doing lunges at the gym. With a lunge your hip and ankle are bending together, stabilizing and strengthening the knee.
Foot and ankle Injuries
Due to the fact that you are likely spending your days at an office desk with rounded shoulders, when you stand up, your weight falls to the front of your foot. Once you stand in running shoes that naturally tip you forward with a heel higher than the toe, your feet and ankles start to bear the brunt of any impact.
The best way to prevent this is to look for a running shoe that isn’t too high in the heel, or try a walking shoe or tennis shoe. These shoes help to spread the impact to the whole foot and prevent problems like you’ll prevent problems like achilles tendonitis, anterior compartment syndrome and lateral compression syndrome.