Weight lifting is supposed to benefit your health- not cause injuries. However, like most physical activities, weight lifting brings with it a risk of injury. Many of the injuries are preventable if you use proper technique and avoid lifting heavy weight loads before your body is ready. Protective equipment such as proper footwear and wearing weight lifting gloves also reduce your injury risk. Here are some of the most common weight lifting injuries and ways to avoid them:
Tendonitis- An inflammation of your tendons, the fibers that connect your muscles to the bones, is often the result of lifting too much weight too soon. Listen to your body and begin with a weight that causes slight fatigue not complete failure. As your muscles and tendons strengthen, gradually increase the weight load to match. You will see results and avoid injury when you use a slow progression. Always warm up prior to lifting weights to prepare your tendons and muscles for the workout session.
Muscle Strain- A muscle strain is a small tear in the muscle or tendon. This is also usually the result of lifting too much weight or an attempt to catch a weight that is slipping. To avoid a muscle strain, use a weight load that is challenging but not too intense. Also, wear weight lifting gloves to avoid a slipping weight. Finally, incorporate rest days into your training schedule so you return to exercise with fully healed muscles.
Foot/Toe Breaks- Injuries to your feet occur when you do not wear footwear that covers your toes. Weights may slip out of your sweaty and weak hands. They can fall onto your toes and break the delicate bones in your feet. Always wear shoes that protect your toes. Avoid weight training in bare feet or sandals. Wearing weight lifting gloves reduces this risk as the sweat is absorbed by the glove.
Every movement during weight lifting and daily life originates in your core. If you are cheating and throwing heavy weight loads with your back instead of the focused muscle group, your lower back may complain. Avoid lower back pain by using proper technique and a weight load that lets you keep proper technique throughout all the repetitions. Tighten your core before you execute any movement to establish a strong base of movement.