Here's a sobering statistic for you-- the number of workout injuries increased from 409,224 injuries to 445,642 in the last year.
The age group with the highest injury rate is 15- to 24-year-olds. 91% of injury victims are treated in emergency departments and released.
And finally, twice as many males get injured as females (2,373,621 males vs. 1,257,781 females).
Here are 5 guaranteed ways to hurt yourself in the gym (avoid these):
- Do max effort movements before you are sweaty.
- Engage in workouts without activating your core muscles- abs, obliques, glutes, hamstrings, and any other muscle connected to your hips.
- Pick up random size weights without looking at your program to see where you should start.
- Throw together random combinations of exercises that could be stressing the same exact muscles and lead to strains, sprains, or worse.
- Do not listen to your body. Follow the detrimental wisdom of "powering through".
Ok, all joking aside, here are the 5 ways to reduce risk of injury for your athlete or yourself:
- Engage in a progressive warm up that eventually gets you sweating before doing max effort movements.
- Do movement prep and muscle activation first. Deep core muscles like the transverse abdominis, your glutes (medius, minimus, and maximus), hamstrings, hip flexors, etc. If you don't activate these, then the "bully" muscles will do all the work putting you at higher risk of muscle strains. Overtime, it'll be disc issues, full muscle tears, impingements, etc.
- Be disciplined and follow a program. Look back at prior week weights to gauge where you should start today.
- Pick movements that complement one another more often than movements that compound on one another. Compounding movements are good every once in a while, but if the majority of your program is stressing similar muscle groups, it is an injury waiting to happen.
- Listen to your body. Some days you will have "lottery days" and be able to do more weight, longer, and better. But some days, you just need to be OK with showing up and moving. Avoid the "power through mindset", it'll make you a statistic like the ones above.
One way to ensure you are working out properly (and not just doing what YOU feel like doing that day) is to get a coach and a program designed for you.
Avoid injury, workout the right way, and progressively get stronger, faster, and fitter...you can book your free discovery call here today.
The Player's Fitness and Performance team is here to serve you!
Dedicated to your health and success,
Coach Andrew and the PFP Team