By Fitness Manager | Bannatyne Health Club Birmingham Priory
Jun 13, 2017
Having suffered injuries myself over my six year career in the fitness industry I can’t express how important it is to look after your body.
By looking after your body I do not necessarily mean hammering it with every day with weight training or HIIT sessions (High Intensity Interval Training) although these training methods are great for your health and fitness they can be hard on the body and the joints. In this blog I’ve listed several ways you can prevent injuries if you work out in a gym environment...
1. Warm up thoroughly before every workout, focusing on the muscles and joints you will be using in your main workout
2. Cool down and stretch at the end of every workout to bring your heart rate down slowly and loosen off your muscles with the stretches, you could also try foam rolling any particularly sore areas
3. Cross train - this is a great way to make sure you aren’t increasing your risk of overuse injuries to the muscles and joints which can be caused by doing the same workouts day in, day out. Run on day one, lift weights on day two, swim on day three, then you could go back to an run on day one again.
4. Swimming is great active recovery following a tough workout, it stretches out the muscles, increases flexibility in multiple directions and begins the process of flushing out lactic acid from the muscles (lactic acid is the compound responsible for that burning feeling in your muscles when you workout). You can swim straight after a weights session to encourage the breakdown of lactic acid or swim the day after as an active recovery session. People swimming at a moderate level on a recovery day are proven to work out longer in subsequent sessions than those who rested.
5. Maintain a regular stretching routine
6. Address any muscular imbalances as soon as they are identified. A muscular imbalance is where one muscle is stronger or weaker than its opposing muscle IE quadriceps (front of thighs) are strong but hamstrings (back of legs) are weak. Speak to a fitness advisor, your personal trainer or a physiotherapist about how to address imbalances.
7. See a physiotherapist straightaway if you think you have a injury or if you have regular intermittent pain in a certain area. Whether private of NHS, it is worth finding out what's going on sooner than later to prevent any issues becoming worse.