Are you returning to the gym after a long break? Or maybe you’re looking to kick-start your gym journey this year? Well, before you rush to the treadmill, book into a spin class, or acquaint yourself with the squat rack, you might want to consider some of our top tips to avoid unwanted injuries along the way. Follow our expert advice below and avoid these common mistakes when going to the gym!
1. Find a ‘New Normal’ (Well at least a starting point anyway!)
That’s right, one of the biggest mistakes in returning to the gym after a long break is expecting to pick up exactly where you left off. This usually results in a visit to see us. Even if you have been exercising over the past few months, unless you’ve got a full gym set up in your garage, your body will need time to adjust to running on a treadmill or lifting that 100kg barbell on the bench press again.
Start your first session back by finding a ‘normal’, comfortable weight to lift or distance to run. Build back up as the week progresses.
2. Gradually increase Gym Activity Level
When returning to exercise or looking to increase and progress your workout routine it is advised to do so gradually. That is if you want to avoid overloading your joints and soft tissues and developing overuse conditions such as joint pain and tendonitis. For example, when aiming to increase the amount of weight you’re lifting, your intensity or duration on the treadmill, or simply the frequency of gym visits, it is advised that you do so by no more than 10 percent each week until you reach your new goal.
Progressing gradually also allows you to strengthen your tendons, ligaments, and smaller stabilising muscles to avoid your body breaking down before you even get started!
3. Don’t Neglect Your Warm Up
If like me, it has been a while since you’ve gone to the gym, you’ve probably spent a lot of time slouched in your chair at home. This will have taken its toll on your body andin increased stiffness and deconditioning due to the types of exercise you were doing the last time you were in the gym.
Ensure you factor in enough time at the beginning of your workout to warm your body up properly. Also, work on some gentle mobility exercises toand joint pains. Our tip to through a thorough foam roller routine to limber up before you begin.
4. Mix Things Up
Variety is the spice of life and the same applies toOne of the easiest ways to an overuse injury is to repeat the same type of exercise over and be bicep curling on the squat rack or running on the treadmill. Varying the types of exercise you do can help prevent overuse injuries by allowing your body to use different muscle groups. This will enable your body not to overload any of the body.
Try mixing your gym visit up with a combination of cardio and free weightin some extra core exercises for good measure too.
5. Training Your Full Body
Make sure that you perform exercises that target all areas of the body and not just the ‘mirror muscles’. Overtraining certain large muscle groups like the chest and shoulders can lead to imbalances in thein postural issues and impingement. It can also affect your lifting capacity! Before you start, make have a well-rounded workout plan that focuses on all areas of your body.
… and remember “Snap” is the name of a gym and not a sound your body should
If you would like us to give you the once over for extra peace of mind before returning to the gym or would like some help developing a well-rounded exercise routine then please get in touch and we’ll help you choose a service that suits you.