5 Common Training Injuries
While exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body, it does come with certain risks. At the top of the list are injuries. Let’s find out what the most common training injuries are and how to avoid them.
The most common training injury in the lower back is either a herniated disc in the spine or a strain of one (or more) of the muscles supporting the spine. Common causes include using improper form while lifting heavy weights or moving the body in a twisting motion.
Always, always, always use proper form when lifting weights. Recruit a personal trainer or an experienced friend to help you learn good posture and alignment, and don’t make drastic changes to the amount of weight all at once.
Patellar tendonitis is an injury to the tendon just below the kneecap. It’s often caused by improper knee alignment during exercise or stress to the knee when running downhill.
When you’re exercising, keep the middle of your knee aligned with your second toe. By strengthening your glutes and hip muscles, you’ll find it easier to keep your knees properly aligned.
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles that work together to support the shoulder joint. Repetitive shoulder movements, like swimming or throwing a football, may cause a strain or tear in the rotator cuff.
Make sure that shoulder-strengthening exercises are part of your exercise regimen, and try to avoid overuse of the joint—especially with heavy weights. Outside the gym, focus on maintaining good posture to avoid compression of the shoulder joint.
Media tibial stress syndrome, or “shin splints,” comes from inflammation in the muscles in the front of the lower leg. It’s usually caused by overwork or overstress of these muscles, and the risk is increased when you run or walk on hard surfaces or up hills, or when you train in poor quality or worn-out shoes.
Always warm up at the start of your training session and avoid big jumps in the frequency or intensity of training. Make sure your shoes are in good condition and are appropriate for the type of training.
An ankle sprain is a tear in the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, which may happen when the foot rolls inward and the joint rolls too far in the other direction. Most often, this occurs when walking or running on uneven terrain, stepping on and off a curb, or running on a treadmill.
Keep an eye on where you place your feet, especially if you’re on rocky or uneven terrain. If you’re running on a treadmill, make sure you pay attention and don’t drift to the side—stepping over the edge is a good way to roll that ankle.