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If you are serious about getting fit, you know that you have to follow a regular exercise program. However, before you throw caution to the wind and join a gym, there are some things you should keep in mind to avoid injuring yourself in the gym. A lot of people end up injuring themselves by being overenthusiastic in the gym. Here are a few things that you might be doing wrong during your workouts.
1. Little or no stretching
This point cannot be emphasized enough. One of the surest ways to get yourself hurt in the gym is to skip stretching before a workout. Get to the gym a few minutes early and put in the stretching routine before you start exercising. It is better to spend a few extra minutes each day than pull a muscle and be rendered unable to work out for weeks.
2. Misunderstanding “The Burn”
There is a lot of truth to the old adage of “no pain, no gain”. However, a lot of people misunderstand how this relates to exercise and end up hurting themselves. If you do all your exercises with the correct form, you should feel a “burn” in that the muscles you are exercising fill up with lactic acid. Most people mistake any form of pain in the gym for a burn. If you are doing the exercise wrong, it is going to hurt you, and it won’t be because of the “burn”.
3. Exerting yourself beyond your limits
So your workout partner managed to crank out 25 repetitions on the last set of squats? Good for him. It doesn’t mean that you have to beat his score at the cost of seriously injuring yourself. As long as you train your muscles to failure, you are giving them enough reason to grow. You do not need to exert yourself to unrealistic limits just to show off.
4. Doing unfamiliar exercises out of curiosity
A lot of people make this mistake in the gym. They see an experienced lifter or a strong guy use a new machine or perform a deadlift and they want to do it too. It is very easy to injure yourself while doing an exercise or using a machine that you are unfamiliar with. Always consult the resident trainer before you attempt something like this.
5. Underestimating the value of a cool down
A lot of people do not understand the importance of a cool down routine after your workout. After heavy physical activity, your joints and muscles are under a lot of stress. You should factor a cool down period into your workouts. After you finish exercising, spend 5 to 10 minutes doing some light yoga or stretching. This will help your body greatly and will avoid any DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Syndrome) as a result of working out.
In summation, while being enthusiastic about your fitness is great, it shouldn’t come at the cost of your health. Factoring the above points into your workouts will help you avoid any unnecessary injuries at the gym.