Going to the gym is a great way to stay busy, make friends, and improve your self-esteem and body image. When at the gym, it’s important you understand the basics to stay on track of your fitness goals. Here are some simple ways to avoid an injury at the gym to help keep yourself in shape.
Practice Good Form
Form is everything at the gym. Whether you’re running on the treadmill or lifting free weights, it’s imperative you keep good form with all your workouts. Basically, good form ensures your body is uptight, focused, and controlled during exercise. Failure to maintain good form means your body’s relaxed during training, which can expose certain muscles, ligaments, and joints to discomfort and unnatural positioning. As a result, you may risk an unexpected tear, ache, or pain in your body. Learn the proper form of your exercise before you engage. It doesn’t hurt to ask for help or guidance from a gym friend, either.
Try Low-Impact Exercises
There are many reasons why you should try low-impact workouts at the gym. Mainly, it greatly reduces your chance of injury. Due to the nature of low-impact machines, even seasoned athletes opt for low-impact exercises to reduce their chance of injury. Low-impact cardio, for example, is a great way to burn calories, increase heart rate, and lose body at without overexerting yourself. Some examples of low-impact exercises to try at the gym include recumbent bikes, ellipticals, or strength machines. You’ll still get in shape without the added pressure on your joints.
Use a Spotter
Another simple way to avoid an injury at the gym is to use a spotter during heavy lifts. It’s common to see people work out together when performing a bench press, squat, or other heavy lifting movement. It’s safer and can increase the efficiency of the movement. Using a spotter also improves your form, as they’ll inform you on improper positioning or other improvements. Having someone spot your lift is also a great way to push yourself to hit a new personal record.
Know Your Limits
Still, know your limits. Never lift more or run longer than you can. Doing so is an easy way to injure yourself. Overexerting your body increases fatigue, which results in improper form and potential bodily harm. You don’t need to attempt a one-rep max on every lift. Remember that fitness takes time. Reaching your goals is a process that even the most advanced athletes must conquer through dedication, patience, and hard work.