Fitness Articles

Avoiding Injury in the Weight Room

Don't Be the Biggest Dumbbell in the Gym!


Safety Tip #8: Stop if it hurts.
No pain, no gain, right? Well, sort of. If you ever feel sudden pain during exercise, do not try and work through it. You are not a wimp for stopping, but wise to listen to your body’s warning that what you're doing is not good. But it's important to understand the difference between pain and fatigue, which is essential in strength training. Pain is a sharp feeling that you should stop. Fatigue is the "burn" that builds gradually when you're working against resistance to overload your muscles. The burn you feel after lifting 8-10 reps is fatigue, and that's a good thing!

Safety Tip #9: Keep your hands away from all moving parts.
You're most likely to injure your hands when lifting weights, so pay attention to where you're placing them. When working with weight machines, keep your fingers and hands away from any moving parts—especially the weight stack. If you need to adjust the weight or seat position, don’t do it on the fly. Take the time to stop and adjust safely. If using dumbbells or other free weights, make sure to use care when racking the plates and/or dumbbells. A moment of carelessness can cause weeks of pain and regret!

Safety Tip #10: Ask for help.
When all else fails, ask for directions! Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. When I was a Wellness Director for the YMCA, I always worried about the member who never asked for help. Even if you have an orientation to the equipment, you probably will not remember everything. If so, ask questions! That is why fitness centers are staffed and why you pay membership dues. Also, don’t depend on watching someone else to determine how you should do something. Get help from certified trainer or qualified instructor. You can also get answers to your questions by posting on SparkPeople's Message Boards.

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About The Author

Jason Anderson Jason Anderson
Jason loves to see people realize the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. He is a certified personal trainer and enjoys running races--from 5Ks to 50K ultramarathons. See all of Jason's articles.

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