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How to Avoid Injury in the Weight Room

By Sara Butler

The weight room can be an intimidating place. Being unfamiliar with the equipment can feel like a real obstacle to your desire to pump some iron. Throw in the fact that it’s easy to injure yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing and you may forgo the weight room altogether! Don’t give up on your weight training dreams because there are some easy tips to help you avoid injury and make some serious gains in the weight room.

Tip No. 1: Warm Up

Your muscles and the tissues that connect your muscles to bone are a lot like rubber bands. Cold rubber bands have a higher chance of breaking, but warm rubber bands seem to have a lot more flexibility and range of motion. Warming up before your workout is essential to help prepare your muscles for what you’re about to put them through, whether you’re in the weight room or on the treadmill.

You should warm up for about 10 minutes before hitting the weights. Go through a series of movements to help you increase circulation and get your heart pumping. You can jump on the elliptical, power walk, or get on the rowing machine for a few minutes to get the job done.

Tip No. 2: Start with Machines

Free weights seem to be what most people think of when they think of weight training, but don’t be fooled. Machines and free weights are both going to help you achieve your strength training goals and when you’re starting out, machines are a little bit safer for you while you learn the ropes.

Machines help to make weightlifting safer by not allowing you to drop it on yourself. They’re simple to operate and they help you find the right position to perform the exercise in, lowering your risk of injury.

Tip No. 3: Be a Lightweight

Here’s a little secret: Weightlifting isn’t about how much you can lift or bench, it’s about building strength through repetition. That’s why it’s smart to start out small and work your way up. Don’t choose a weight so heavy that you have to change your body position to handle it. That will only defeat the purpose of the exercise in the first place and is a great way to increase the chances that you’ll injure yourself. Start small and never increase by more than 10 percent at a time.

Strength training is an important part of any fitness routine. But make sure you do it safely!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Columbus, Ohio.

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