We all go to the gym looking to improve our health. However, sometimes a few small mistakes repeated over time can cause long term damages to our body!
Watch out for these 5 most common gym mistakes that can be dangerous to your health!
If it pains, do not ignore it!
The tag line ‘no pain, no gain’ cannot be always right. Although it is motivational, but it may cause long-term health related problems if ignored. Pain basically means ‘physical suffering, discomfort due to injury or illness’. People mostly experience acute pain, chronic pain, nerve pain, soft tissue pain or referred pain in gym.
Acute pain starts suddenly and is short-term. Chronic pain lasts for longer period of time. Soft tissue pain happens when muscles or tissues or organs are inflamed or damaged. Nerve happens when a nerve is damaged.
Referred pain is when pain from one part of the body is felt in another part of body. It is better to take a break from workouts and consult an expert to ascertain the nature of pain and work towards relieving the pain.
Following are some of the pain that most of the gym-goers might have experienced:
- Pain in the anterior shoulder while doing overhead press;
- Pain around the patella (knee cap) while squatting or lunging;
- Pain in the lower back due to pelvic tweak while doing deadlifts.
Guessing/assuming/copying the form and technique of an exercise to be correct!
A dog need not be taught to swim, a bird need not be taught to fly . . . etc. However, we humans are not born with such kind of basic instincts like animals have. Hence, we either copy from people around us or use the social media or hire an expert to learn a specific skill. Copying the exercise or assuming the form and technique of a particular exercise to be correct, is one of the biggest mistakes that a gym goer indulges into.
The fact that most of the machines have instructions mentioned on them to use the machine, does not negate the fact that an expert is not required to teach to use the machine or perform a particular exercise. Instructions on the machines are more so meant to safeguard the manufacturers of machines from the claims that may be made by a person who was injured while using the machine and insurance can be enforced.
If the manufacturers do not mention the instructions, they might not be safeguarded against the claims and the company may suffer huge loss. From health and safety perspective it is always recommended to hire an expert to learn to use machine or to perform a functional exercise like squat, deadlift, clean, snatch, etc.
Following are some of the common injuries suffered by people while working out in absence of an expert:
- Lower back tweak while doing deadlift, which suddenly changes breathing pattern due to severe pain;
- Dislocation of shoulder;
- ACL tear while squatting with knees caving in and feet turned out.
We are not as supple as ‘Wild Cats’, we need warm up/ mobility!
We are not like leopards, cheetah, tiger, etc., who when hungry are ready to pounce on their prey without any need of warm up or any mobility drills. With the advent of technology, most of us are now sitting a lot than standing and walking. Human beings are meant to stand and walk. Sitting causes lot of tightness in muscles and thereby causes muscle imbalances. Imagine sitting for 8 hours in office and then you decide to do a squat session or deadlift session without proper warm up, exercise specific mobility, etc. This may cause serious injury which may negatively affect your overall heath for long-term.
Following are some of the observations that are seen when a person performs squats without proper warm up / mobility and have suffered injuries:
- Back rounds at the bottom of squat – because of tight hips and missing hip flexion;
- Overhead press appears to be forehead press – because of tight anterior shoulder muscles and triceps;
- Hip impingement – because of tight hips
Not wearing proper footwear!
Feet are the foundation of the human body. Footwear can have positive and negative impact on human feet. Hence, its necessary to wear right footwear for a particular activity viz., weightlifters need to wear weightlifting shoes as it allows more dorsiflexion and shifts the weight on the ball of the feet, long distance runners need to wear running shoes to protect ankles, knees, hips and spine due to multiple impact that body undergoes while running, powerlifters need to wear zero drop shoes to keep the weight of the body on the mid foot for lifts like squats and deadlifts, etc.
Failure to wear right footwear can have following negative impact on us for long-term:
- Lower back pain, knee pain, hip pain;
- Pelvic tweak or pelvic misalignment;
- Incorrect posture.
Using gadgets while working out can invite 911!
It is so important for us to post the workout videos on social media while working out that we forget that we are risking our life while doing it. Talking over the phone while working out can have serious and long-term impact on us. Hence, it is very important to be focused on workouts and avoid using gadgets for better results and personal safety.
Following are some of the observations from the gym floor and the impact that a person can suffer for long-term due to use of phones while working out:
- Talking on the phone or taking selfie while working on leg press machine - Even if it is the machine, it needs to be operated by us. Using phone while doing the leg press, a person can miss putting the locks as his mind is diverted towards using the phone and this may cause serious long-term injury. It does not matter the amount of weight loaded on leg press machine, even light weight can cause serious injury;
- Talking on the phone while running on treadmill – As aforesaid, it is a machine and needs to be controlled by us. Even a small distraction, can cause losing balance and we may suffer a long-term injury.