Injuries : How To Prevent Them And Handle Them
Let’s face it. If you’ve been a serious fitness fanatic and have always strived to push further and do more, there must be at least one instance where you have injured yourself one way or the other.
Injuries are an inevitable part of the journey where you strive to push through physically. It may be a small one or a serious one but regardless, an injury is still an injury. A serious injury can take you out of your sport and shorten your lifespan as a serious athlete or take you out for months forcing you to lose all your hard earned progress. The worst thing about injuries is that you can be the most careful and alert person but can still have an injury out of nowhere. It is needless to say that injuries can happen to anyone.
So, it is wise to know how to prevent them or tackle them if it comes to it. Let’s first look at some of the most common ways to prevent injuries.
1.WARM UP PROPERLY
I see lot of people hopping on straight to the bench press as soon as they enter the gym and do a couple lousy sets of jumping jacks. That’s one way to easily get injured. People don’t understand the proper concept of a warm up and are always in a hurry to lift weights. There are generally two phases of warmups:
- warming up the entire body or raising the body’s temperature
- warming up the specific body part about to be trained
People generally focus on the former but forget the latter. It is very crucial to start with high reps of the first exercise you are about to perform just to warm up that muscle as well as get your mind into the movement itself and slowly build up in weights while dropping reps until you reach your working set.
2.USE WEIGHTS YOU CAN HANDLE
Ego lifting is something we are all guilty of. I mean who doesn’t like moving a lot of weights and taking sweet instagram photos. But you can never be careful when you are using weights that you cannot handle. You cannot always rely on a spotter to save you from weights that has potential to crush you. People often forget that the weight room can be a very dangerous place.
3.ALWAYS USE GOOD TECHNIQUE
Before you starting putting on weights on the bar week after week, you gotta lay a strong foundation of the right technique. An okay technique can turn really bad over a period of weeks if not corrected. And that can lead to injuries. Majority of injuries are caused by a bad technique and if your foundation is not correct, it will only be magnified as you progress along. Although you don’t need to have a text book correct form all the time, you have to make sure that your technique is good enough to save your body.
4.USE PROPER GEAR
Another thing people miss out are proper gears. Your gears should complement your body’s structure and not just for style. Shoes are so much important. If your ankles don’t have proper mobility, you might need shoes with bigger heels. Similarly, if your knees are not too mobile, you might need shoes with a flat sole. Also, lifting belts and knee wraps or elbow sleeves might help keep you safe according to what lifts you are going to perform. Know your gear and use them wisely.
One of the most common mistakes that lifters make is that they are at the gym 7 days a week without taking off days. People fail to realize that it’s not at the gym that you build muscle but rather while you are resting and recovering. What you are actually doing at the gym is breaking and tearing down the muscle fibers. And over months of wear and tear without adequate recovery, makes you body even more prone to injury. So it is often advisable to take at least 1-2 days off from training per week.
Now that we have covered the prevention part, let’s talk about taking care of injuries because no matter how careful you are, injuries can happen to anyone and at any time. In most cases, people make an injury even worse and instead of it being healed in a day or two, it may last for weeks and hurt you in the long run.
- LET IT HEAL
An immediate injury needs rest to recover. Rather than pushing through and getting even more injured and taking a longer break, it is often wiser to let it heal and come back quicker. Remember, being stupid is not hardcore.
- START WITH PROPER TECHNIQUE
Once you are back at the gym, the first thing you have to look for it to check if you have a proper range of motion and if so, try to build up your foundation. An injury can be a blessing in disguise where you can work on correcting your form and technique.
- START LIGHT
As much as we want to get back to our old lifts and hit new PRs, it will only set you back even more. Let your body recover with lighter weights and once you
think you are fully recovered, take one more week training light. Your body will thank you for it.
- GO HIGH REPS
High reps create pump and it draws blood to the affected area. Since blood carries nutrients, it helps heal the injuries faster too. High reps also help you practice your form better.
- SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP
If it’s a major injury, it is often advisable to go see a medical professional because they would know better.
All in all, one should not fear injuries but be careful and well prepared about it. After all, if you seek greatness, you gotta push your boundaries and when you’re pushing yourself harder, you are putting yourself at a risk. But that doesn’t mean you have to be afraid of the failures, just be a little more cautious.
LOCATION : THE PHYSIQUE WORKSHOP,KUMARIPATI
ATHLETES: YASHIV MANANDHAR, ADITYA SHRESTHA, ASHISH RAJ SINGDAN
PHOTOS: PRITAM CHHETRI
WORDS: SUSHANT PRADHAN
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