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Avoiding Injury in the Weight Room

Don't Be the Biggest Dumbbell in the Gym!


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  • "Sadly, the photo accompanying this article shows bad form. The guy has his knees bent more than a 90-degree angle, and they are past his toes. That puts undue pressure on the knee joints and can cause injury. - 6/22/2012 1:48:14 PM"

    Poppycock when a 300 plus pound sumo wrestler can go down his butt on his ankles without knee injury the whole 90 degree never past the toes mantra has no real substance. At 90degrees with your weight to the rear you place the maximum shearing stress on the knee joint. The current research has demonstrated the fault in stopping in that position.
  • I think that using a photo of one of the worst muscle imbalance exercises you can do negates the thrust of the article. When do you ever push weight using just your quadriceps muscles when you are seated?
    Very informative post and like to add to avoid exercise injury warm up and stretch before regular exercises and make sure you are hydrating before, during, and after your workout. Dress properly for your workout, always listen to your body and stop if it hurts.
    Most of this article is nothing more than common sense. If you're at the gym and are using weight machines - READ AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!!! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how the machines work.

    Sadly, the photo accompanying this article shows bad form. The guy has his knees bent more than a 90-degree angle, and they are past his toes. That puts undue pressure on the knee joints and can cause injury.
  • ... Okay, I understand advertising to pay for the site. Really, I do.

    But how do feminine hygeine products have ANYTHING to do with the underlined words? Please fire that marketing "genius".
  • Advocating machines, static stretching and tempo lifting?

    This is one of the worst articles I've ever read on this site. Yes, not crushing your hands under weights and not lifting more than you can safely and with good form will avoid injury. No kidding.

    There has been plenty of research done by folks with actual degrees that has shown static stretching may increase injury while weightlifting, speed of repetition is unimportant so long as proper form is maintained, and that some machines, especially the Smith machine and Leg Press can be dangerous to joints.
  • I never fail to hurt my ankle when I try to lift weights. Short of wearing ankle braces that never fit me right, I have yet to find anything that actually works to prevent MY ankles from being messed up.
  • Thanks...this was very informative.
  • My #1 tip for avoiding injury is to RESPECT THE WEIGHT. A weight is never safe until it is re-racked properly. Pay attention to form even when re-racking, returning the cable to the start, etc. 100% of my gym injuries have been from neglecting to follow this rule.
    I agree with BOB240. Almost all of the injuries and difficulties I've had in the weight room have related to using machines, not free weights (or bodyweight exercise). One of the worst culprits is the machine they use to illustrate this article. It's very easy to use this machine to lift more weight than your lower back can handle. My sister (an RN), my back doctor and my trainer all pointed to this machine as one of the primary sources of strain that led to two ruptured discs in my back. Frankly, most of the machines in the gym that are used for leg strength exercises are a problem. I think people are much better off learning how to do body weight exercises and exercises with free weights under the supervision of someone very knowledgeable, like a trainer.
  • The use of machines is dubious - many, such as Smith machines encourage bad form and have restricted movement which can lead to injury.

    Machines TEND to isolate small muscles muscles (exceptions being leg press, lats pulldowns) and mislead people as to what they are actually achieving. There is no point sitting on a biceps machine for hours doing bicep curls - biceps don't grow that way...

    First and foremost you need someone who knows what they are doing to teach you "form" on free weights. In particular, concentrating on compound movements with light weights. This is an efficient/quick and safe way to build whole body strength which in the long term will protect you from injury and improve your strength.
  • I think the biggest take away is don't be afraid to ask how to use equipment correctly. You will look more foolish using incorrectly than you will look asking how to use (not to mention the potential for injury). I've seen more men than women use equipment incorrectly. I always figured the men just thought they should just "know", so punted instead of asked. Every once in a while I will watch and think, "Wow, he is really going to hurt tomorrow."
  • This is helpful. Sometimes I rush my workout and miss some key steps (warm-up, stretching), but I will make a better effor moving forward.
  • Wonderful article, If I get a chance to go to a gym I will remember this article.

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