Dr. Stephen Liston D.C., P.S. is a licensed chiropractor in Vancouver, WA. In addition to his chiropractic care, Dr. Liston’s practice provides specific recommendations on nutritional supplements and healthy food choices to enhance his patients’ return to optimal health.
The gym is a fantastic and popular place to work out. If you’re going to a good one, they will also usually have many of the latest fitness machines. But if you plan to partake in gym exercises, be sure that you do it right or you may end up injured and find yourself doing physical therapy.
Here are some of the more common injury-causing mistakes that happen at the gym:
1. Stretching Before Your Workout – Stretching will loosen up your muscles and joints. However, if you don’t warm-up beforehand, you may be doing more harm than good. Your muscles are a bit like taffy. If you were to stretch taffy when it’s cold, it will snap. But when you warm taffy up, it stretches easily. Your warm-up can consist of walking for a few minutes at a moderate pace to get your blood flowing.
2. Being Overconfident with Weights – Even if you have been working out for quite some time, always be careful about the amount of weight you try to bench press or curl. Lifting too much weight can lead to injuries.
3. Being Overconfident with Cardio – The same holds true when beginners hit the cardio machines. The phrase “walk, don’t run” holds true when you are just starting your routine. Otherwise you can end up with sore hamstrings, quads, and lower back, just to name a few.
4. Not Understanding Proper Form – This mistake usually takes place in the weight room. Guys hunched over and jerking back and fourth with heavy weights end up with back injuries.
5. Neglecting Your Core Muscles – Even people who have been going to the gym for years don’t take the time to include core exercises. Your core is more than just the abs, it’s all the muscles around your trunk and pelvis. Core strength makes it easier to do other exercise and will help you avoid common injuries.
6. Not Asking Questions – Gym employees aren’t paid to sit and look pretty. While not all of them, many have been educated in proper exercise form and can show you how to properly use weights and cardio machines.
For those of us who spend most of our time sitting at a desk, our joints and muscles don’t get the kind of work they should. That’s why when you first start a workout routine you need to take it slow and work your way up. Be proud that you’ve taken the steps to better your health… now just make sure you can continue your effort, injury-free.
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