How to Avoid Common Exercise Injuries
Shoulders, knees and lower backs. I rarely meet someone over 45 who is in the gym regularly and that hasn`t had one or more injury in these body parts. With knees, jogging, football and tennis seem to be the most common culprits. If you haven`t injured your knees yet, stop running now while you still can. I often see very out of shape and overweight people running down the pavement, (usually with a terrible limp and at least one knee brace….). People think because long distance runners are skinny that running is a good way to lose weight. I believe that skinny people are good runners because they have bird-like bodies to begin with. They weigh less and are shorter people usually which means less pounding and torque on their knees. They aren`t skinny because they run. They can run because they are skinny!
Now about lower backs. This seems to be a bigger problem for men. When someone tells me he has a bad back he usually has very tight hamstrings, (ie he can`t touch his toes), a larger than healthy belly, (ie his stomach is hanging over his belt) or he is a runner. Or all of the above.
Shoulder rotators are another super common injury. These babies are trouble even for the non-exerciser. You can rip your rotator just by grabbing your heavy purse from behind you in the car or reaching behind you to adjust your child`s seat belt while you are in the front of the car.
In the weight room, the most common shoulder dangers are lurking in the way people mis-handle their free weights. Here are some tips:
- Always warm up on your upper body days, (ie your chest, back and shoulders days) with the rotator cuff exercise shown in this blog. Keep your elbow down on the hip as shown in the photo, don`t let it lift off your body. Use a 5 to 7 pound weight only. It will feel light until you get to 12 reps then you will feel just how tiny those rotator muscles really are!
- When handling free weights, keep them balanced in front of you at all times: Don`t pick them up or put them down from the floor while you are lying on the bench.
- When doing cable crossovers or using a pec deck, don`t allow both hands to drop outside of the sagital plane. (pretend you have a wall at your back, don`t let the hands go past that wall).
OK. Do all that and stay healthy! When it comes to workout injuries your best offense is always a defense!
If you would like to learn more about weight lifting or weight loss, you can book a fitness evaluation with me at the Desert Spa Fitness Center in Cabo San Lucas. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for appointments.