Going to the gym to work out is often a better option than exercising at home since it comes with several advantages.
At a gym, you’ll have access to more equipment. You can use the elliptical, stairclimber, rowing machine, and treadmill – machines you might not have at home.
You’ll also have more options for lifting weights; you don’t have to stick to dumbbells since you can use free weights and other machines to build your muscles.
Additionally, working out with others who have the same mindset can keep you motivated and help you stick to your health and fitness goals.
This is a source of motivation that you’ll have difficulties getting if you work out at home.
There are also trainers in a gym ready to help you use a particular machine or teach you to maximise your workout.
However, even with plenty of equipment and the presence of trainers and fellow fitness buffs, you still have to be mindful of getting injured whenever you are at the gym.
Workout injuries are more common than you think and can happen to anyone and anywhere, even in a controlled environment, such as the gym.
Although some injuries are not life-threatening, some that will require a trip to an emergency hospital in Dubai due to their severity.
Ways You Can Get Hurt While Working Out and How to Avoid Them
Knowing the common injuries you can get while working out at the gym can go a long way in helping you avoid them.
Below are the five common ways you can get hurt at the gym and tips to prevent them from happening to you:
1. Pectoral Strain
If bench pressing or lifting heavy dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells are part of your exercise routine, you need to be cautious about getting a pectoral strain.
Pectoral strain is the partial or complete tearing of one or more of the pectoral muscles or pectoralis, which are found on your chest.
When you stretch or contract the pectoralis as you lift weights, you put tension on the muscles and tendons.
When there is extreme pressure on these muscles and tendons due to repetitive movements, heavy force, or unexpected strain, such as losing control of a barbell or dumbbell, it can cause a tear in the pectoralis, which is often a serious injury.
This injury can manifest in a tearing sensation and the chest and upper arm usually turn black and blue.
If you have this injury, you would do well to go to the emergency room or see an orthopaedic surgeon immediately to find out if you need to undergo surgery.
To avoid this injury, lift or bench press weights you are comfortable with and always control the amount of weight you use.
Also, work with a spotter if you want to lift heavier barbells or dumbbells so that they can help you control the weights and stop you from dropping them.
2. Lower Back Strain
Overstretching is the usual cause of lower back strain, which occurs when tiny tears in the ligaments and muscles appear in your lower back.
The pain you feel is caused by the weakened muscles unable to hold your spinal column in place.
Adapting the wrong form while squatting and lifting and using too heavy weights can cause this injury. However, some twisting motions and side-bends can also lead to lower back strains.
Cycling, even on a stationary one, can also cause this injury.
To avoid this injury when lifting weights, always keep your spine in a neutral position. Never bend over from the waist; instead, bend and straighten from the knees.
Additionally, increase the weights gradually over time.
When on a bike, avoid overreaching if the frame is too big. Consequently, do not hunch your posture if the frame is too small.
Slumping your posture makes it harder for your lower back to support your weight, which can lead to this injury.
3. Knee Pain
Even if you’re not into jogging or running, you can still hurt your knee, particularly when you use the treadmill at the gym.
Runner’s knee is a common injury among athletes and people who jog regularly. If you have this injury, you will feel recurring pain on top of your kneecap.
Aside from the pain, another symptom of this injury is a creaking, crunching, or grating sound that you’ll hear when you move your knee.
You can also get this injury if you regularly lift weights with the wrong form and incorrect knee alignment.
To avoid this injury, increase your pace gradually when using the treadmill. Don’t choose a speed too fast for you, particularly if it’s your first or second time on this exercise machine.
Also, increase the frequency and length of running on a treadmill only when your body can handle the changes.
Strengthen your knees as well by including exercises that build your hips and quadriceps in your workout routine.
4. Biceps Tendinitis
Biceps tendinitis is another type of overuse injury wherein you’ll feel pain in front of your shoulders and upper arms. Repetitive movements, such as weightlifting, swimming, and playing tennis, are the usual causes of this condition.
This injury is an inflammation of the tendon that attaches your upper biceps muscle to your shoulder bones.
Biceps tendinitis is also often called impingement syndrome and rotator cuff damage.
Symptoms of this injury include pain, tenderness, and swelling in the shoulder area, limited motion, and weakness of the arm.
To avoid developing this injury, cross-train to vary your activities and minimise your repetitive overhead movements. Make sure you also have the proper posture when working out.
Additionally, always get enough rest between strength-training workouts. Stop doing exercises that target the same muscle group as well.
5. Joint Dislocations
Joint dislocations happen when a bone slips out of a joint. This injury can occur in the knee, hip, ankle, elbow, and shoulder.
You can get this injury if you load bars with too much weight and don’t have the correct form when lifting them.
When this happens, the excess pressure on the ligaments can force the bone out of its usual position, causing it to swell, feel numb, and look bruised. A strange shape may also develop in this area.
To avoid this injury, strengthen the muscles in the joint area. For instance, if you want to make your knees stronger, regularly do lunges, squats, and leg lifts.
Additionally, always warm-up and cool down and cross-train to minimise repetitive motions.
Getting a massage after working out can also help you reduce inflammation and speed up your recovery time.
These benefits will go a long way in keeping you healthy and injury-free during and after your workout.
And if you are injured or suspect you are close to getting a sprain, strain, or dislocation, see a doctor immediately.