Preventing Injuries in the Gym

The end of the year is quickly approaching and you may be looking to either keep the holiday weight gain under control or you may be thinking of making a change. Whatever your reason, going to the gym is a great way to get out of the house, relieve some stress, and get healthy! Injuries and muscle strains are going to happen, so you shouldn’t get yourself down. The following tips are taken from an article by Yahoo! Health on how you can prevent injuries at the gym!

Common Injury: Knee pain

How it Happens: Setting the bike up incorrectly

Prevention Tip: Get to class early. This will ensure you have enough time to get situated on the bike. Start by adjusting your seat. Move it forwards and backwards until you can put your front knee directly over the pedal axle when sitting. Then adjust the seat to the right height. Place your feet on the pedals and rotate them until one leg reaches the bottom on the pedal stroke - your leg should have a 30-degree bend in the knee. Next, adjust the handlebars so you can comfortably place your hands on the bars with a slight bend in your elbows.

Common Injury: Muscle strain and repetitive stress injuries

How it Happens: Using too much weight, doing too many reps, or not varying exercises

Prevention Tip: Varying exercises and intensity will help prevent over-training. This may mean incorporating rest days into your regimen, adding a specific period of lighter lifting or varying your movement patterns (lateral, forwards and backwards, up and down) which will all help to ward off injury

Common Injury: Stress fractures in the knee, ankle, and foot

How it Happens: Wearing improper footwear, poor jumping technique

Prevention Tip: To protect your knees during jumps, never land on a straight leg. Always bend your knee when you land, for a bit more give. Also, investing in a supportive pair of sneakers will keep your ankles and feet free from injury.

Common Injury: Wrist and lower back pain

How it Happens: Performing poses or distributing weight incorrectly

Prevention Tip: Spreading your fingers wide and pressing through the fingertips in any pose where weight is on your hands will reduce pressure on the wrist, says Charlene Lite, a New York City-based yoga instructor. Avoid lower back pain by lengthening the spine up and away from the hips before bending or rounding the back. During floor stretches, sit on a block or a few blankets to prevent rounding the spine.

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