Weight training can be a great way to shed some excess fat, and transform your body from saggy to firm and toned. This is best achieved with regular, scheduled workouts.
There are two main reasons why people stop doing their regular workouts
- They lose the motivation to continue, which can be attributed to a number of factors.
- They injure themselves too often.
The good news is you have control over the first point listed above, as long as you have the desire to do some exercise. As for the second reason, although you cannot eliminate the chances of an injury, you can definitely take steps to reduce the risk of being injured during weight training.
So what are some steps you can take to reduce the chances of being injured?
Seek Professional Advice
Assuming you are just starting a program, seek advice from a personal trainer. He will guide you through a series of exercises to target the muscle groups you seek to improve. He will also demonstrate the proper form, which will reduce the chances of hurting yourself.
When you are about to do a set, focus on what the repetitions should look like. Psych yourself up, and make the weights or the machine your focal point. Do not be distracted by others around you.
One of the worst things that can happen to you is to laugh at something when you are in the middle of a bench press, for example. This is why people often listen to music with headphones while working out – it minimizes outside distractions.
Ask For Help
If you are pushing yourself to a new level, or even if you are just not sure that you will be able to get those last couple of reps in, ask someone to spot you through your set. If you get in trouble, he’ll be there to assist you.
Know Your Limits
Do not lift beyond your ability. When weight training, the tendency is to lift too much too quickly.
Lifting more than you can handle, creates several problems:
- It leads to poor form.
- There is a lack of controlled speed, which can lead to jerky or bouncy movements.
- You may unexpectedly go beyond your maximum range of motion.
Not only will the aforementioned points cause injury (especially the third point), but you will not be properly working out the muscles you wish to target.
Although there has been some controversy over the actual benefits of stretching before a workout to prevent injury, the general consensus is that joints and muscles should be thoroughly warmed up before lifting weights.
A few minutes of cardio before a workout is advisable to help prevent injury. And although the jury is still out on whether or not stretching can help to prevent injury, regular stretching has one major benefit – it will increase your flexibility! This is important for all ages.
It is one thing to work through muscle stiffness, but you should not be working through pain. If, on a lift, you feel that something is not right, or pain sets in, stop immediately. Do not finish your set.
When it comes to injury prevention during weight training, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. Using a common-sense approach with safeguards in place, will keep you on track toward your workout goals.