Workouts can become routine and when you are in a rut you are most likely to get injured.
This is the reason exercise physiologist Rachel Straub authored a book called ‘Weight Training Without Injury’ on how to stay safe when you lift weights.
“People get bored; there are ten ways to do a squat, but they don’t really understand how deep should they go, how their feet should be placed, so all of these variables impact the loading of the joint.”
“You really have to be knowledgeable or be working with someone who is knowledgeable on these factors in order to stay safe, ”Straub explains.
When you are new to the gym environment she recommends starting with no weight and sticking to compound exercises such as lunges, squats and bench presses to work your main muscle groups and joints before using machines, cables or progressing to heavier poundages.
“Though these exercises are basic, they work multiple muscle groups and joints simultaneously, helping you make the most of your time at the gym. They also help you build baseline strength, which sets the foundation for lifting heavier weights and performing more targeted moves as you advance.”
For Straub the basic positioning of your body when you exercise is key, whether you’re using weights or not.
Some of the most common gym mistakes to avoid are:
- Bench Presses – arching the back and flaring the elbows
- Biceps Curls – swinging the body as you curl up the weight
- Squats – leaning too far forward
- Lat Pulldowns – pulling the weight from behind the head which could injure the rotator cuff
- Push-ups – allowing the back to arch