Don’t Make These Mistakes at the Gym
When done correctly, weight training does a lot of good for your health and overall function. It improves bone density, energy levels, helps prevent chronic diseases, boosts metabolic rate, and helps to us maintain a healthy weight.
However, many people get injured while strength training due to these common mistakes.
#1: Not Building Your Foundation
We are often attracted to the fancy exercises without building a foundation base first. It’s like choosing paint colours for your house while the foundation is crumbling. Without a strong foundation (knowing how to activate your core muscles and using them in strength training movements), you put yourself at a greater risk of injury. For example, a weak core will put you at risk of injury when lifting overhead, doing a squat, or even picking weights up off the floor.
What to do: Start with basic movement patterns and include core activation exercises such as a hip bridge and opposite arm and leg raise.
#2: Training with Improper Form or Lifting Too Heavy
Lifting with poor form either from not knowing how to lift properly, or lifting heavier than you can handle, is a sure-fire way to get injured and to develop muscle imbalances.
What to do: Learn how to lift effectively and focus on doing the exercise correctly before progressing.
#3: Unbalanced Program
Over-emphasizing one muscle group relative to its opposing muscle group can cause poor posture and increase the risk of injury. For example, chest muscles are naturally stronger than the opposing back muscles. Yet many strength programs include more chest exercises compared to back exercises. When opposing muscle groups are imbalanced injuries, such as shoulder injuries, are likely to occur.
What to do: If you have postural imbalances, make sure your program addresses them. If you do not have imbalances, follow a balanced training program that maintains your proper posture and improves your overall function.