Expert Tips to Help You Avoid Injuring Yourself
Resistance training (i.e. weightlifting and/or calisthenics), is the use of resistance against your muscles, in the attempt to build up strength, anaerobic endurance and increase the size of skeletal muscles.
In short, regular resistance training can result in stronger muscles.
Some of you might be confused when your sports therapy trainer in Aberdeen suggests using weight training as part of your exercise routine. Many people think of bodybuilders with huge muscles and dark tans whenever “weightlifting” is mentioned, but resistance training has a whole host of positive effects that people don’t really know about.
Improved posture, better sleep, maintaining weight-loss, and lowering inflammation are all among its incredible benefits, and if used correctly you can truly add another dimension to your workout routine.
However, a workout injury can happen to anyone – no matter what your age or fitness level – and you need to be particularly careful when weightlifting. If your technique is not right, then you could end up booking in to see your sports injury therapist in Aberdeen before you know it!
We are going to explore the common mistakes that can cause weightlifting injuries, and how you can avoid needing sports injury physical therapy in the future:
Common resistance training injuries
At our sports injury clinic in Aberdeen, we see a wide variety of injuries on a daily basis, and nothing can set your progress back more than having to take some time out for something that could have been easily prevented.
All the injuries that you can sustain from resistance training fall into two main categories – cumulative injuries and traumatic injuries.
Simply put, cumulative injuries are wear-and-tear from repetitive exercise. Once you start to maintain a proper and consistent exercise routine, it is inevitable that these workouts will take their toll on your body. Eventually your cartilage will wear down, and muscles, tendons and ligaments will become less supple. Dehydration, overtraining, and poor form are also likely to contribute to a cumulative injury. In weightlifting, the straining nature of the exercise causes damage to the muscle tissue, and whilst it may not cause any issues to begin with, the weakened tissue is torn again and again and may end up requiring sports injury physical therapy.
Traumatic injuries are often very noticeable, and you will normally hear a popping sound and be in immediate pain. Traumatic injuries normally mean you bypass your sports injury therapist in Aberdeen and go straight to A&E!
Nobody wants that! Weightlifting is an exercise that means applying great pressure to your skeleton and muscles and, without the correct form or posture, it can often result in traumatic injuries that could have otherwise been prevented.
Tips to avoid weightlifting injuries
The safest way to avoid weightlifting injuries is to make sure that you practice with a trained professional, such as the personal trainer at our sports injury clinic in Aberdeen. Obviously, this won’t be an option every time you want to train, especially if you are progressing along your health and fitness journey with solo workouts.
So… we’ve put together some tips to help reduce the risk of needing immediate assistance from our Aberdeen sports therapy specialist!
Use proper form
This is probably one of the most important points, and using proper form is critical if you want to reduce the risk of injury when weightlifting. All our personal trainers will coach you through the correct techniques to ensure that you don’t hurt yourself, and you need to make sure that you take on board all their advice during your sessions. It is essential that you make sure you understand the technique and form required before undertaking any exercises on your own. Ensure that you always use your full range of motion when weight training as well, as this develops strength of the muscle at all points of the joints and reduces the chance of injury through over stretching.
You don’t need to go for the heaviest weights when you are resistance training, and you need to make sure that you perform exercises that are functional and strengthen your core. You might think that adding more weight will bring you results faster, but more often than not, it’s the quickest way to end up with an injury!
Start off with smaller weights and gradually increase them – you will be surprised at how quickly you can progress! Our trained professionals here at Toro Blanco will be able to guide you and change your training programme to keep up with your progress, so you don’t have to worry about doing too much too soon.
Warm up properly
Before you reach for the weights, you need to make sure that your body’s core temperature is raised, and the muscles have warmed up. Some light cardio before you begin, and low resistance exercises will make sure that your body and muscles are prepped and ready for resistance training. You need to make sure that your muscles are not cold and stiff before you begin, otherwise the stress of the high impact weight training can cause some nasty accidents – and yes, you guessed it… a visit to see your sports injury physical therapy specialists!
Underestimating the importance of correctly and properly cooling down is responsible for a lot of injuries that we see at our sports injury clinic in Aberdeen. After an intense weightlifting session, your muscles are filled with nutrients and blood is flowing through them rapidly, and you need to make sure that you perform static stretches to ensure they cool down correctly. Resistance training your muscles means that they become contracted and shortened during the exercise, and you need to make sure that you stretch them properly to avoid. This is especially if you are in your late 30s or older as muscles lose some of their elasticity and blood supply with age.
Training too often
You need to make sure that you don’t overtrain your muscles, and the common rule of thumb is to let a muscle group rest for at least 24 hours after a good workout to give them time to repair and grow. Make sure that you listen to your body, and if you’re feeling too tired then there is probably a good reason to train another muscle group instead. If your muscles are still feeling sore 3 or 4 days after training them, then this could indicate something more serious than just sore muscles. Make sure that you speak to your sports injury specialist if you are worried.
Poor nutrition and dehydration
It may come as a surprise, but not working out the correct nutritional balance for your body can really affect your performance and increase the risk of injury. A lack of vitamins and minerals can slowly begin to affect your training sessions and contribute to serious sports injuries. Hydration is also relevant when you are working towards a healthier lifestyle and is extremely important when it comes to exercise performance and injury prevention. The hydration process for a training session needs to ideally begin about 5 hours prior. This is to reduce the risk of tearing a muscle or a tendon when you are exercising. At our sports clinic in Aberdeen, our leading trainer – Chris Roy – is also specialised in Nutrition and is there to help, advise and guide you.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch for more information.