Top tips on how to stay injury-free now that the gyms are open, and the signs and symptoms to look out for on the common injuries that can occur!
It has been so great getting back into the gym and being able to go swimming, but are you being sensible with the amount of exercise that you are doing?
“If you think lifting is dangerous, try being weak. Being weak is dangerous”— Bret Contreras, sports scientist
Why do injuries occur?
Wouldn’t it be great to know why we sustain injuries…
…that way you can take steps to prevent them and stay on track with your training!
A big increase in load that your body is not used to
Load not only refers to the amount of weight that you lift but also the amount of force that you put through the body.
- Going to the gym pre-lockdown and lifting 30kg. Doing little exercise in lockdown and once the gyms reopen go straight back to lifting 30kg.
- Haven’t ran before, started during lockdown and have been running each day, increasing your miles very quickly.
Increasing frequency of your training and decreasing the amount of rest days
This refers to how much exercise that is being carried out.
- If you used to cycle 2-3 times a week and now this has increased to everyday.
- If you carried out 1 exercise class a week and now you are participating in 3 a week.
Increase the duration of your activity
This is the amount of time that you carry out exercise.
- Originally going for a 45-minute swim and now increasing this to 1.5 hours a time
What problems should I look out for?
Delayed onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS): when we exercise, we cause small tears in the muscle fibres, when these fibres recover the muscles become stronger. This is the aching that is experienced in the muscles 24-48 hours post-exercise and this is normal. If you notice the pain is lasting longer than 2 days, you may have caused an injury to the area.
- Discomfort and pain for days following exercise
Muscle strains: if you have carried out an explosive movement (sprint or lifting a heavyweight) and you experience pain straight away, you may have strained the muscle.
- Calf strains
- Hamstring strains
- Quadriceps strains
- Lower back strains
- Biceps strains
Joint pain: if you have started a high impact exercise, for example, anything involving running or jumping and you are noticing pain, swelling, stiffness and restricted movement in a joint you may have injured the cartilage or discs if in the back.
- Lower back disc injury
- Knee cartilage
- Hip cartilage
Tendon injuries: if you have increased your load, frequency and duration, and are noticing stiffness in certain areas of your body in the mornings or after periods of rest and pain and discomfort during exercise you may have overused the tendon and caused tendinopathy.
- Tennis elbow
- Golfers elbow
- Rotator Cuff pain
- Greater Trochanter Pain Syndrome
- Patellar Tendinopathy
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Plantar fasciitis