How to avoid gym strains and pains

Muscle and joint injuries can appear almost from nowhere, and when they do you can be out of action for a long time (not to mention suffering some major pain). At the gym there are a few things you can do to minimise the risks, so here you go:

Always warm up first. 5 to 10 minutes at a light pace on a cardio machine of your choice will be plenty. Enough to get your heart rate up and muscles and joints warm.

Start with a lighter weight for the first one to three sets of any resistance exercise you perform. Once you have your mind muscle links fired up and are in the zone then you’re ready to step the weight up for more intensity.

Pay close attention to your technique. Incorrect posture or over exaggerated movements can end in injury. If you find you can’t maintain good form then drop the weight down or move onto another exercise.

Be on the alert for unusual pain. If you feel sharp pain that’s out of the ordinary change the angle of the movement slightly or move onto a different exercise altogether. Assess whether or not you need to talk to a medical professional.

Perform light stretches in between exercises and/or when warming down after training. Maintaining flexibility is excellent for posture and for keeping that youthful ‘spring in your step’. It’s also very good insurance for the prevention of a muscle or joint injury.

Warm down gradually after training. Either stretching, light cardio, or some light weights exercises are good ways to warm down your body. If it’s cold outside wrap up first before you leave the gym!

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