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Updated 04 October 2019

5 common gym injuries and how to prevent them

Before you hit the gym or lace up your trainers for a run, it's a good idea to know which injuries to look out for.

Ankle sprain

You may think that an ankle sprain is only possible when running outdoors, but jogging on a treadmill could also lead to an injury.

It’s easy to hurt your ankle on the treadmill because you might lose focus while jogging and could accidentally step half on and half off the moving machine.

Don’t jump off the treadmill too quickly either! You could roll your ankle into an unnatural position. 

To prevent treadmill ankle injuries, attach a clip from your clothes to the machine, which will stop it if you fall.

If you plan on running outdoors, stick to even or paved grounds. 

Shin splints

Commonly known as a shin splint, pain and muscle inflammation along the inner edge of your shinbone usually develops if you exercise often.

The risk is increased if you work out on uneven ground, on hills or have recently increased the intensity of your workout. 

Prevent shin splints by wearing shoes designed for working out, slowly increasing your workout intensity by no more than 10% a week and warming up before running or jogging.

Lower-back strains

A sudden, sharp ache or shock in your lower back? It could be a sign that you’ve overworked your back while exercising.

Deadlifts or squats could lead to lower back injuries so it’s important to do them with the correct form.

Twisting motions and side bends could also lead to lower back injuries

If you’re a beginner doing squats or deadlifts, first learn how to maintain a neutral back. To find your neutral spine, lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

Your spine should touch the floor under your neck and lower back, allowing the natural curves of your back to absorb the shock.

If you’re a beginner, get your form correct first by asking a qualified trainer for advice before adding weights.

Biceps tendinitis

Overuse can happen after repetitive motions during exercises like weightlifting, swimming, tennis and even golf.

This causes biceps tendinitis. It’s the inflammation of the tendon that’s attached to your upper bicep muscle to the bones of your shoulder.

If you feel pain in the front of your shoulder or have upper arm weakness, you may have this injury.

Try cross-training to prevent repetitive overhead movements, keep your posture correct while exercising and rest enough between workouts.

Pectoral injury

A pectoral injury can easily happen if you lose control of a dumbbell or barbell during a heavy bench press.

Too much weight can lead to a tear in your pectoral muscle (large muscle in your upper chest).

See your doctor immediately if you feel a tearing sensation along with blue or black upper arm bruising, as you might need surgery.

Prevent this kind of injury by controlling the amount of weight you’re lifting. You could also ask someone to spot for you (support you during an exercise like weightlifting) so you don’t lose control of the weights while you lift. 

References: Livestrong, WebMD

Image credit: iStock

 
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