New to the gym?
Here are some tips and tricks to make sure you are avoiding injuries when starting a training program for the first time
Whether you are going to the gym for the first time, or you are returning after a break, figuring out what is correct for you can be daunting. Below is some advice from our team at mudgeephysio. to try and help you get into the gym comfortably and safely.
Lift an appropriate amount of weight
You want to start with a weight that fatigues the muscles in about 12-15 reps. From there you can play around with reducing reps and increasing weight depending on the goal of your training
Warm up is key!
5-10 mins of warming up the muscle groups you will be using during your session will help to ensure proper activation during your training and help to avoid injuries that can occur when exercising without a warmup.
Make sure you are lifting the weight throughout your full range of motion. If this is too hard with the weight you have chosen, decrease the weight. Also, although technique is important, there is no perfect way of lifting. It will be different for everybody depending on their body.
Slow and Steady
Don’t rush through your reps, taking it slow and steady helps to isolate the muscle groups you are working, rather than relying on the momentum to do the work for you
During a regular exercise program, all your major muscle groups need to be worked – arms, legs, front and back. Planning a week’s worth of sessions can be a good way to make sure you are getting all the major muscle groups into the program.
Know your limits
Know when it is time to stop and not push for one or two more sets as this may lead to an overuse injury
Using your breathing correctly during lifts can assist with core activation and avoiding injuries.
Don’t ignore pain
Listen to your body and if an exercise is causing pain, stop and try it again in a few days. If you have done a few days of hard training and your body is sore, give yourself a rest day, and resume your program the day after.
Make sure you are incorporating both strength and endurance into your training program - the quantity of each will depend on your goal.
Don’t skip the stretching
Stretching and joint range of motion work is a key element of recovery, so that you can keep working out with the same quality of movement.
Scheduling adequate rest into your training routine will ensure your body has the time to recover and strengthen. This can be done by having whole days of rest between sessions or by not strengthening the same muscles two days in a row.
Don’t give Up!
Sometimes it can feel like you aren’t making any improvements, however it can take 6-8 weeks of consistent training to have a tangible improvement in strength. Just hang in there and the results will happen.
Take home message:
Training is a great way to improve your overall health and fitness however you need to use your common sense when starting for the first time. Whilst adding that extra little bit of weight to your lift may feel like you have a achieved a goal, it may come at the expense of sometime else, like proper form or an injury. Knowing how to do an exercise with good technique is vital to ensuring spinal and joint health but keep in mind that everyone’s body is different, and what works for one person, may not work for you. Do your research into each exercise make sure you know the basic form to avoid injury but elements of it can be safely adjusted depending on your body’s structure.
Please keep in mind that this article is only outlining SOME of the basics, there are many more factors that can be considered when starting a training program. The team at mudgeephysio. can help to give advice and assess your movement to ensure you are moving within your body’s limits and getting the most out of your training.