While pushing yourself to the extreme is supposed to be “where the magic happens” there comes a point where you should set your ego aside and listen to your body’s cry for relief.
Overexerting yourself at the gym can put you at risk of injury and some exercises are more likely to cause damage than others.
Ellipticalreviews.com analysed data released by the US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System on workout-related emergency room visits from 2016. They found treadmills topped the list of gym equipment most likely to result in injury, with running causing more than one in three gym-related hospital trips.
The most common complaints? Shin splints, stress fractures and runner’s knee. Unsurprisingly, all were likely to be a result of the person pushing themselves too hard or not warming up properly.
In saying that, they noted a number of injuries resulting from other unfortunate accidents.
While an excellent tool to work out the whole body, the medicine ball accounted for seven percent of ER visits. Many of these exercises involved throwing or slamming the ball against a surface, with most of the injuries involved damage to the head.
The skipping rope and pull up bar caused similar accidents whereas equipment like resistance bands led to eye injuries.
Before you vow to never set foot in a gym again, there are precautions you can take to minimise the risk of injury while you train.
Personal trainer, Harry Smith shared some of his tips with the Independent, stressing the importance of form when performing exercises.
“The number one way to avoid injury in a gym is to make sure you’re doing the exercise properly. Strength exercises like squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, kettlebell swings etc are all technical skills. No one is born able to do them safely and efficiently,” he said.
He recommends getting the assistance of a trainer – even if it’s just an induction – to learn the basics.
“Secondly, always do a dynamic warm up,” Harry continued. “It doesn’t have to be 30 mins long – five minutes will suffice. Just be sure to take most of your joints through a good range of motion. Some body weight squats, push ups, mountain climbers and spine rotations will suffice for most people.”
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