With the New Year fully underway, many people are choosing to focus on health and wellness as their New Year resolution, committing themselves to a healthier lifestyle in terms of diet and exercise. While enthusiasm is definitely needed when getting your health in check, over eagerness when working out can lead to injuries. Without properly preparing and cooling down, injuries can cause new exercisers to put their workouts on hold. At Healthpointe, we recognize that exercise is an essential part of health, so we came up with a list of common injuries for people working out at home, and how to avoid those injuries. As always, consult your physician before starting a new workout routine.
According to NBC News, rotator cuff injuries are some of the most common injuries that people experience when starting their own workout routine. “These injuries usually occur from common training errors. Performing shoulder-related exercises too frequently without giving the muscles and tendons a chance to heal between workouts is usually the most common cause,” says Dr. Michael C. Schwartz. The phrase ‘never skip leg day’ exists because people tend to focus too much on their upper body, such as their shoulders, causing them to be overworked. Additionally, people new to exercise often overestimate their own strength, and as a result end up stressing their shoulders.
To avoid shoulder injuries to begin with, always make sure that whatever weight that is being used isn’t too heavy, pulling the shoulder too hard. Starting with a lighter weight and perfect form is vital to eventually getting to heavier loads. While lifting, it is important to avoid hunching the shoulders forward, instead keeping them in a neutral, relaxed position, rather than stiff.
Lower Back Injuries
Lower back injuries are not only the most common work-related injuries, but they are also commonly related to working out. As with shoulder injuries, most lower back injuries associated with exercise are due to lifting too heavy of a weight with poor form. However, people who have labor intensive jobs are more likely to hurt their backs while exercising because they don’t take enough breaks between strenuous activities.
To avoid lower back injuries, it is important to have good posture when walking or sitting for long periods of time. If working a job that requires a lot of bending at the back, focus your workouts on other body parts. Don’t overuse the back by repeating the same muscle movements over and over, and instead try other activities.
HIIT workouts are one of the main culprits when it comes to exercise-related injuries, especially in regards to the knees. This is because HIIT workouts can involve a lot of jumping – the knees can become strained, resulting in pain and injury. In many HIIT workouts, the knees take the brunt of the impact, and as such, the cartilage in the knee can wear out. When doing any exercise involving the knees, it is important to listen for certain sounds. If you hear something snap, pop, or crack, that can be an indication of a serious injury.
To avoid knee injuries, it’s a good idea to do workouts that don’t involve a lot of jumping. For many, this means eliminating HIIT workouts— however, many HIIT workouts have modifications that avoid exercises prone to cause injury. It is also important to stretch before and after working out, especially if knee pain is a concern. Stretching is an often overlooked step in regards to exercise, and this can contribute to increased pain and injuries. Lastly, even though many people think maintaining a high speed is the only way to break a sweat, having great form is more important than moving quickly. So, instead of sacrificing your form, opt instead to slow an exercise down. Doing so can help prevent you from straining your knee.
Has a workout-related injury knocked you off track? Are you eager to heal and get back to your health? Let us help! Click here to make an appointment today.