Are you trying to gain muscle and strength but are finding that your efforts are being hampered by injury?
If so then it could be due to your lifting form.
Of course, injuries in weight lifting is quite common, but if you are making the following weight lifting mistakes then the chances of injury will increase.
Read on to see if you are making any of these mistakes, and how to prevent injury in the future.
Mistake #1: You lift more than you can handle
We all know that you need to push yourself to build muscle and strength, which means that we need to be increasing the weight of our lifts each time we workout.
However if you are lifting more than you can handle then you are certainly putting yourself at a higher risk of injury.
Not only could you drop them onto yourself, and risking broken bones, but can put serious strain onto your ligaments too.
The truth is that if you are not able to perform full, controlled reps without assistance then you are probably lifting more than you should, and should probably reduce the weight.
Mistake #2: You use bad form
Bad form can cause serious injury, especially if you are lifting heavy weights.
While there is some that will say that even bad half reps are good for progress, if you injure yourself doing these reps with heavy weight and bad form then your progress will falter.
Compound lifts like the squat, deadlift and bench press involve heavy weights as this is key to gaining muscle and strength. However bad form can put strain onto your joints, tendons and ligaments.
I suggest and scientific research shows that better gains can be achieved by using your full range of motion. Plus, it can help with your flexibility too.
Examples of bad form include:
- Hunching over while performing a deadlift
- Hyperextending at the top of a deadlift
- Rolling your shoulders while bench pressing
- Bowing your knees during squats
It is always best to master the form of these lifts before you increase the weight. Injury can seriously hamper your progress.
Mistake #3: Ignoring the signs
You will often hear that you should push through the pain to see the rewards, but this is not always good advice.
If you feel pain when working out then this could be a bad sign.
You should learn to listen to your own body. You should be able to tell whether the pain you feel is just the strain of the lift or a serious issue.
Whatever you do, don’t try to push your way through serious pain. You could end up doing more damage to yourself.
Sometimes it is best just to give your body time to recover.
What to do to aid recovery from injury?
If you unfortunately injure yourself despite following the above advice there are ways that you can treat certain injuries yourself. For example minor sprains and strains.
For chronic conditions or serious injuries then medical attention should be sought out.
This is the first and probably most important aspect of your recovery.
If you have suffered an injury then leave it to heal completely. Then when you return to training the area start with a lighter weight to see how it feels.
You will soon return to your previous weights, if you give yourself time to recover.
In the meantime there are plenty of other lifts and body parts that you can train. For instance an arm injury does not necessarily mean that you cannot train legs.
Putting ice onto the injury can help reduce swelling, just make sure to keep a damp cloth between you and the ice to avoid additional discomfort.
Compressing the injury can also help to relieve swelling and inflammation.
You can use a bandage or compression sleeve, but it should not be too tight as this can impair blood flow.
#4: Elevate the injury
When you elevate the injury the blood will flow from the injured area, which will help to reduce swelling.
Finally, heat can help to stimulate blood flow, which will help to bring the necessary nutrients the injury needs to heal.
It is best not to use heat immediately after an injury as it can cause inflammation. However it should be used alternatively with the icing method mentioned above to promote healing.