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How to Avoid the Most Common Exercise-Related Injuries

Injuries are a part of the professional athlete's life. Their full-intensity exercise puts them at greater risk of strains, sprains, and contact injuries. For the average person, however, there's no reason why you should sustain injuries when training at the gym, in the park, or on the running track. It's a lot easier to avoid common exercise-related injuries; all you have to do is:

Use the Proper Form

Form is everything! Your body is capable of handling a lot of weight, but only if your bones, muscles, and joints are working together effectively. Make sure to learn the proper form and posture for each exercise (especially potentially dangerous lifts like Deadlifts or Squats), and keep that form tight on every rep. The better your form, the lower the risk of injuries.

Don't Overload

One of the silliest rookie mistakes you can make is to overload your muscles. If you add too much weight to your Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift, or Curl, you may end up performing the workout incorrectly in order to compensate for your lack of strength. While it's good to push your muscles to the point of fatigue and beyond, you need to do so safely. Always work with a spotter. If you end up working alone, reduce the weight so you can maintain proper form.

Warm up First

A warm-up will help you to loosen up tight muscles, joints, and connective tissue, and engage the muscles before the workout begins. Spend at least 5 minutes going through a sequence of stretches, and considering spending 5 to 10 minutes walking or jogging on the treadmill (or walking to the gym). A bit of light movement before your workout will seriously reduce your risk of injuries.

Do a Warm-Up Set

This comes after your warm-up and before you hit the weights hard. Doing a set of light weightlifting will help to activate the muscles you're about to use, but doesn't risk injury by suddenly overloading them from the get-go. A single warm-up set per muscle group is more than enough to help prevent strains.

Train Your Body From Every Angle

Cross-training is the key to reducing injuries. Runners may not have the musculature to lift heavy weights, and resistance trainees are at a higher risk of injury while running or engaging in HIIT training. But by mixing up your workouts and hitting your body from every angle — endurance, stamina, strength, mobility, cardiovascular endurance — you prepare your body for any workout.

Listen to Your Body

If you're feeling the beginnings of a strain, sprain, or any form of pain, stop doing what you're doing. Minor pains are usually an indicator that something isn't right. Take a break and change things up to avoid more serious injuries.

Fuel up Right

Your body needs water, calories (200 to 300), and electrolytes (sodium and potassium) to get through your workout. Make sure to drink plenty of water, and have a small snack 30 to 60 minutes before you train. With the right fuel, you can get through any workout without getting fatigued (which leads to poor posture).

A few simple tricks, but they can make all the difference in the world when it comes to reducing your risk of exercise-related injuries!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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