So, you made a commitment to live a healthier life. You start a workout regime only to be sidelined with an injury soon after starting. What did you do wrong? How can you avoid another injury when you’re able to work out again? Don’t worry, there are many common beginner workout injuries that can easily be avoided.
Check out these common beginner workout injuries and what you can do to avoid them.
A super common mistake for someone new to exercise is to do too much too soon. Unfortunately, this often leads to stress fractures in the bones of the foot, heel, or shin. Stress fractures can also happen when a specific exercise is done repeatedly so people who play sports like tennis and basketball are more at risk. Pain and swelling around the injured site is a symptom and the pain increases when exercising, walking, or even standing. This type of injury is serious because if it is not treated or allowed to heal properly it can lead to chronic pain.
If you are new to exercise, starting slow and gradually increasing exercise volume and intensity is an effective way to avoid getting a stress fracture.
IT Band Syndrome
Iliotibial Band Syndrome, or ITBS, is routinely found in runners and cyclists. When your IT band, which is a ligament running along the outside of your thigh from your hip to your shin, becomes tight and inflamed you could have ITBS. This injury can also occur when runners wear worn-out shoes, run downhill, run on uneven surfaces, or even run too many miles.
If you cycle, a simple way to deter ITBS is to check the seat height of your bicycle. It should not be too high or too low. To avoid ITBS, runners should get a good walking warm-up before running and get new shoes if the ones they have are worn out. Here’s a tip for checking your shoes: if the pattern in your tread is too worn out to see, you need new shoes. Runners should also avoid running on concrete if possible and change directions routinely if running in a repeated pattern like on a track.
This injury is caused by overuse and happens by doing repetitive motions like weightlifting or swimming. If you have pain in the front of your shoulder and upper arm, you may have bicep tendonitis. The pain is an indicator of inflammation of a tendon that attaches your upper bicep muscle to your shoulder bone. If the front shoulder pain worsens when you lift anything over your head, you should see a doctor immediately.
Switching up your activities to avoid repetitive and overhead movements is an effective way to avoid biceps tendonitis. Getting enough rest between your strength training workouts and checking your posture are also great ways to fend off this injury.
Another one of the beginner workout injuries is a pectoral injury. You will know you have a pectoral injury when you feel a tearing sensation and your chest and upper arm turn black and blue. The most common way beginners get a pectoral injury is by losing control of a dumbell or barbell during a bench press. This injury is serious and should be taken care of immediately.
A simple way to avoid a pectoral injury is to make sure that the weights you are lifting are an appropriate amount for you. You have to be able to control what you are lifting or you will injure yourself.
Beginner Workout Tips
Follow these tips to avoid beginner workout injuries. Whether you’re a newbie or a beginner, these are great practices to use when working out.
Don’t skip your warmup!
Warming up benefits your body in many ways, but the most important benefit is that it decreases your chance of getting an injury. An effective warm-up raises your body temperature so that your muscles will be well supplied with oxygen. Better yet, a warm-up prepares you mentally for your work out ahead.
Considering that your muscle mass is about 75% water, I would say that drinking plenty of it is important to your workout. Drinking enough water before, during, and after a workout is a great way to get all the water you need.
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone with more exercise experience. And definitely don’t let your inexperienced deter you from working out at all. If you’re unsure how to use certain equipment or do a specific exercise, ask a fellow gym-goer or even a coach. Learning more about gym equipment and exercises will make you more confident in the gym.
Find a workout partner
Studies show that when you work out with someone you enjoy spending time with, like a spouse or friend, you will enjoy it more and be more likely to stick to it. Ideally, the person you choose would have similar goals and the same attitude about working out that you do.