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New Year, New You… No New Injuries

Hitting the gym with a brand new, sparkling New Year’s resolution is something of an American tradition. You’re ready to work off that holiday weight and have a healthy new year, but before you start slaying, remember this saying: slow and steady wins the race doesn’t end up in a knee brace.

Not to be too on the nose, but when it comes to starting a new workout, it really is not “no pain, no gain.” If you’re feeling discomfort beyond your standard post-workout sore muscles, you might be going a little too hard, too fast. Consider these tips to help recognize and prevent common gym injuries as you start your healthy new routine this January.

Common Gym Injuries & How to Avoid Them

Elbow/knee/shoulder injuries
Elbow injuries are often caused by lifting too much weight while moving too quickly. Tennis elbow is the most common injury. The best way to prevent an elbow issue is to keep them in a neutral position while lifting weights and doing reps at a steady pace.

Caused by a variety of movements, knee injuries happen most often when the knee is kept in a constant, stressed position. To prevent these injuries, maintain proper posture when doing squats and deadlifts so your legs are properly aligned. Wear supportive shoes, and use knee braces to help prevent injuries.

Rotator cuff problems are the most common shoulder injury type. Overhead movements cause shoulder pressure that can lead to tears. Prevent a shoulder injury by incorporating shoulder movements into your workout routines to keep your upper body strong. Above all, only lift what your body can handle.

Equipment-related injuries
As you likely are aware, gym equipment includes large, heavy weights and machines. Exercise that same awareness when putting down those free weights so you don’t hurt your toes and avoid tripping. Read instructions and safety guides on the equipment. Even simple things, like checking shoelaces before getting on a cardio machine, require a good reminder.

Lower back sprain
This is another issue caused by incorrect posture. If you put too much pressure on the muscles surrounding the lower part of your spine, you can injure your back. The best way to prevent back injuries is to keep your spine neutral while working out. Lifting belts can help with that.

Pulled groin
Exercises like squats and lunges can overwork the muscles on the inside of the thigh, which can result in a pulled groin. Stretch, warm up, and use good form to avoid this uncomfortable injury.

Shin splints
At the gym, the treadmill is the most common culprit of shins splints, especially when it is slanted. Jumping on hard surfaces can also cause them. A proper warmup can help mitigate the issue as well as limiting your time spent running on slanted surfaces.

When to Call Beacon

Injuries happen. When they aren’t alleviated with self-care at home, it’s time to see an orthopedic specialist at Beacon. Our expert doctors have the experience and compassion to get you back to the gym to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions while keeping you healthy. Schedule an appointment online anytime.

Go to the emergency room or call 911 if:

  • A bone could be broken.
  • A joint seems out of position.
  • You experience chest pain during/after exercise.
  • You hear a popping sound and have immediate issues using the joint.