For those of us that spend time at the gym lifting soreness and in some cases pain are a common occurrence. As we gain muscle and push our bodies we expect to have some level of discomfort and associated pain. Today I will go over some helpful tips for preventing pain while lifting.
1. Use Proper Form
The first thing that we can do to make sure we avoid pain while doing any exercise routine is to use proper form. This is hopefully common sense for anyone who has been in they gym, however often with fatigue or improper training this can be one of the first things to start suffering. Always make sure you are keeping yourself or having your coach/trainer/partner accountable for good form. This is important for both the proper mechanics of the current movement and to make sure that the movement performed is done properly so that our muscle memory uses the appropriate muscles to stabilize said movement.
2.Warm Up and Stretch!
Mobility! Both before and after a workout is paramount to avoiding injuries and pain. While we all know that stretching and foam rolling are good for us, very often this is overlooked. Keeping your muscles and joints limber is essential to healthy exercise. When working out make sure you warm up before exercise with a more dynamic warm up (moving stretches) and after make sure you cool down with more static stretching and mobilizing. The large factor with mobility is the stronger we get the more important it is, as a person gains more muscle mass their muscles have more potential resistance. Because of this keeping them flexible reduces the strain on our joints and ligaments helping to prevent pain.
3. Keep Your Core Strong
The last tip today is to make sure is to keep your core strong. When I tell this to athletes most of the time I get a “I have a strong core!” reaction. However in my experience this is not always the case. While lifting does help work our core muscles in an ancillary fashion, very few lifts directly work our core. To complicate matters with most people our work behaviors are very inhibiting to our core. It is for this reason I recommend everyone does a minimal amount of core work DAILY! Usually this just consist of a set of planks, and side planks. However this minimal amount of effort is a significant return on your time investment. If your core ever does fail while lifting it commonly presents with a minor spinal injury, which typically means time off for exercise and pain. Because of this keeping your core strong to prevent any small failing is key to preventing injuries.
While these tips will help prevent pain, sometimes injuries and pain occur no matter what we do to prevent them. If that ever happens to you and you need help please contact Active Life Chiropractic at (573) 250-7427 for a no obligation consultation to see if we can help!