Back to the Gym? Stay injury free with these tips!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The beginning of a new year sees an influx of people signing up to their local gym. A holiday season full of gourmet food, alcohol and lounging around sees many a new year resolution being made!

If regular exercise hasn’t been on your agenda for some time you’ll be more prone to injuries. Here are steps you can take right now to help prevent injuries from exercising.

1. Find a certified personal trainer

To get started, find a certified personal trainer to create a program suitable for your body and fitness goals. They will also make sure you are using the right technique and posture while you’re working out which is pivotal to avoiding injury. Most gyms offer a free personal training session when you join, however purchasing a few more sessions may save you on future medical bills and down time on the couch. Make sure you disclose any previous injuries or problem areas so they can factor this in to your program.

2. Mix up your workouts

Doing too much too fast, whether its reps, weight or a marathon treadmill session increases your risk of injury. Consider adding variation into your workout schedule with these activities:

Yoga - can help you combine strength and flexibility while reducing head, neck and back pain.

Swimming- a refreshing total body workout. It is also a joint friendly workout if you are recovering from an injury.

Join a running group - a great cardio workout while enjoy the outdoors.

3. Ensure your workout gear is suitable


Foot and ankle injuries are common workout injuries. A running shoe with a low heel or cross trainer shoe will disperse the weight and other impacts across the whole foot rather than to the front or back portion of your foot. Shoes should be fitted by a professional who has an understanding of the shape of your foot and the type of workout you’ll be needing them for.

Sports Bra

For women the most important item of workout clothing is a sports bra. Having the right support is vital to minimising breast pain, shoulder and upper back pain. Make sure you choose a sports bra for the impact level you need and it is fitted correctly.

4. Don’t forget to warm up and stretch

Warming up helps the muscles to handle stress so they are less likely to get injured. Doing static stretches when your muscles are cold e.g. when you hold a stretch before your workout may decrease your strength and performance. Always start with some mild aerobic activity to get blood to the tissue before doing any stretching.

A sample warm up could be a slow jog for 5 minutes followed by dynamic stretching - arm circles, hip rotations, knee lifts.

Never skip stretching after a workout. Stretches should be static, which is where you hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds. A foam roller is a great stretching tool, for tips on how to stretch out problem areas follow our guide.

Using a foam roller or spikey ball is a great way of releasing tight muscle and fascial tissue- check out our You Tube page for a bunch of videos and tips on how to sort out your problem areas!

5. Treat any injuries or soreness quickly

Pre existing imbalances and impairments in the body can cause injury and pain during exercise. A physiotherapist can work with you to reduce pain and design a treatment program that will have you on track towards recovery and the long term management of your condition if required.

General soreness is usually expected when beginning a new workout program, to reduce the discomfort and smooth out any trigger points (lumps or knots) consider having regular massage therapy.

Mention the code below to receive 50% off your full priced massage with one of our experienced massage therapists! They will be sure to straighten you out.

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