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Workouts Gone Wrong: Ways to Injury-Proof Your Sweat Sessions

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Weight Lifting

Active Threat: Getting hurt by a weight, joint injuries, muscle strains

There was a 63 percent increase in weight-room injuries among women over a 12-year period (17 percent higher than in men), a 2010 study found. Dropping dumbbells or smashing body parts with them accounts for 75 percent of cases. Weight machines can be a hazard as well. "They're designed to fit men's bodies, which can throw off a woman's form when she's using them," says Robert Forster, a physical therapist in Santa Monica, California. "And research shows that, in general, females have less upper-body strength and a smaller bone structure than men do to support weight, which puts them in positions that strain muscles when they lift."

Workout Rescue: Whether you're using free weights or machines, start small (if everyone in class is picking up 10-pound weights, don't be shy about grabbing eight-pounders), ramp up gradually by increasing the number of reps before upping the weight, and keep movements slow and controlled. If you have questions, talk to a trainer at your gym. And avoid the following, which Forster says are downright dangerous.

SKIP: Knee-extension machine Extending the knee from such a flexed position creates compressive forces between the back of the kneecap and the thighbone, eventually wearing down cartilage there. Worst-case scenario: osteoarthritis.
TRY: Leg-press machine or squats They evenly distribute forces throughout your lower body to take pressure off your kneecaps.

SKIP: Behind-the-neck lat pull-down The pull-down motion forces shoulder joints to work in poor alignment; leaning forward strains neck muscles.
TRY: Lat pull-down done right Lean back slightly and pull the bar down to the front of your chest.

SKIP: Seated torso twist This exercise puts excessive pressure on lower-back disks, so much so that it can cause a disk herniation.
TRY: Straight-arm lifts To target your deltoids, stand holding free weights, arms by sides, with thumbs pointing up, then raise weights to shoulder level in front of your body. Do push-downs on the lat machine to work your triceps.

Next:  Indoor Cycling


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tomscotto wrote:

As a certified cycling coach, trained bike fit/biomechanics specialist, and master indoor cycling instructor, it constantly disturbs me when non-qualified individuals are asked to provide a solution (Workout Rescue). Giving general and incorrect advice is unprofessional and irresponsible. Please maintain your creditability and integrity by using qualified people to add value to your informative articles.

10/2/2013 09:53:57 AM Report Abuse
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8/6/2013 07:10:36 AM Report Abuse
lilshippo16 wrote:

wow this article really makes you think. Im 21 years old and sometimes I know with my age I get over zealous and push way to hard. Some days its ok an i bounce but there are times when I really feel it. This is a good reminder that were not invisible no matter how in shape your in

7/19/2013 02:42:01 PM Report Abuse
beautifulbooks wrote:

Great article! Thank you so much. I'm a 56 year old lady that likes to fit and UNINJURED! This is incredible wisdom for all! God Bless You all in your mission to keep us fit ahd healthy.

7/17/2013 11:57:58 AM Report Abuse
jasmine_clare wrote:

This article is great. I just started back at the gym and already hurt myself. I wish I had read this two weeks ago. The information about Yoga, bicycling, and free weight lifting is very helpful to me. I took notes in my phone and will be taking it with me to the gym. -Jasmine

7/17/2013 11:54:33 AM Report Abuse

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