One of the first rules you’ll encounter any time you start a strength training regimen is, “Don’t get hurt.” Likewise, when you are utilizing physical therapy as part of a recovery program, avoid re-injury. When you speak with a physical therapist at our clinic, we can help ensure that you’re ready to start a strength training program and even recommend ways to maximize your training. Here are some tips for preventing injury while strength training.
Types of Injury
- ACUTE injuries usually result from a single, traumatic event and may include wrist fracture, ankle sprain, and shoulder dislocation.
- OVERUSE INJURIES are difficult to diagnose & treat because they are usually subtle and occur over time. When repetitive trauma affects the tendons, bones, and joints, an overuse injury develops. Common examples include tennis elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, Achilles tendinitis, and stress fractures.
1. Get a Basic Physical
2. Work With a Physical Therapist
A physical therapist can guide and assist you in your exercise program, similar to a personal trainer. The proper form is one of the keys to avoiding injury. Your physical therapist will analyze your form to make sure you’re doing everything correctly in order to maximize result and limit possible injury.
3. Proper Warm Ups
Stretching and a proper warm up are important for avoiding injury. Your physical therapist can teach you warm up routines that utilize light weights or resistance bands to get the muscles ready for lifting. Some light cardio and stretching are also important. The goal is to have your muscles warm and loosened up and to have your muscle cells oxygenated and ready to work.
4. Proper Fuel for Your Body
Utilize the proper nutrition to maximize your gains from strength training. The best method is to eat a nutritious meal about two hours before your workout. Likewise, you’ll want to stay properly hydrated for working out. Drink a 16-ounce glass of water about two hours before your workout and stay hydrated while you’re engaged in strength training.
5. Start Slow and Build Up
If you’re getting back into a strength training regimen after a lengthy period of inactivity (months or years), start slow. If you overexert yourself in the early stages of a new program, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to injure yourself. You might only be able to handle three 20-minute workout sessions per week as you’re just getting back into the routine. Use this as a baseline to build up from.
6. Listen to Your Body
Some pain is normal during a strength training program, and some is not. If you feel any sort of pain that is just “not right,” back off. Switch to a lower weight or switch to a new muscle group. Trying to drive through pain can result in serious injury.
If you’re ready to start a strength training program and want to maximize your results, working with a physical therapist can give you a boost.
Give Athletix Rehab a call to schedule a session with us and learn how physical therapy can help you take it to the next level.