|Sangram Jedhe doing the dead lift workout
A fitness routine coupled with dedication bordering on obsession may be the best way to fight the flab, have a lean look or put on some muscle. But a major fallout of this could be injuries due to careless lifting, one of the most common cause for disrupting a healthy routine.
In case you sprain your muscle or pick up an injury, always remember, a complete rehabilitation needs to be given top priority, if you want to make a fit and healthy comeback. Read on to find out what causes injuries in the gym and how to avoid them.
Sangram Jedhe, a SAP consultant, Fujitsu India suffered from a slipped disc (also known as a prolapsed or herniated disc) while doing his squats. This injury got him out from lifting for six months.
He shares, “I had to undergo a surgery after which I was told follow a rehabilitation programme. Not doing my workouts made me miserable mentally. I consulted a sports psychologist and after a couple of counselling sessions, I made up my mind that I won’t rush into joining the gym.”
Though gym injuries are common (knee, rotator cuff, lower back, ankle etc) they are the easiest to prevent as a gymnasium has a very controlled environment, unlike sports where injuries can occur due to a fall or contact with other players.
“Exercise is a subject where each individual thinks s/he is an expert and ends up following wrong workouts. But actually, it is a science and proper advice from a qualified fitness professional is necessary before following any routine randomly,” says Dr Anand Gangwal, sports and musculoskeletal physiotherapist, Primephysio clinic, Pune.
What causes injuries
Form and posture:
It is essential to adopt the proper form and technique while lifting weights. Some trainers lack practical knowledge, as they clear theory exams from international institutes online, which do not provide any practical training.
A gym with practically qualified trainers will have minimum cases of injuries. Form and posture are the first aspects a member should focus on before increasing the pounds s/he lifts.
Adequate rest to the body is essential for it to recover from the stress of exercise. Three sessions of weight training in a week are sufficient for a normal person. Excess workouts will lead to overtraining, which further lead to injuries
The gym should have good quality equipment that is ergonomically designed. Olympics bars and good quality dumbbells with proper grip and balance are essential to workout without injuries.
One of the most important elements of exercise is the scientifically engineered sportsshoes.“Agoodpairofshoesplays akey role in an injury-free workout session. Shoes should be replaced at least once a year.
Flat footed individuals should be extra cautious as wrong footwear could lead to excess stress on the ankle, knee joint and lower back.
A good flat shoe is recommended during lower body weight training. If there is a flat foot, heat moulded customised foot orthotics are recommended,” adds Gangwal, who is a Masters in Orthopaedics, Sports and Manual Physiotherapy from UniSA, Australia.
Lack of Flexibility:
Tight muscles and stiff joints alter the normal biomechanics of the body. Stretching post workout is very essential to avoid injuries. Sports and deep tissue massage once in two weeks help, but they cannot be a substitute for daily stretching and cooling down exercises. name some common cooling exercises.
Proper nutritionandadequateproteinintakeareessential for the body for its repair and growth. One should always consult a qualified nutritionist for advice rather than becoming a victim of any fad diet like soup and salad diet, liquid diet and fruit juice diet.
Injuries should not stop you from working out. Continuing the workout routine despite an injury can help a person recover faster. After a few days of rest, one can continue workouts of the uninjured areas, eg for a knee injury one doesn’t need to stop the shoulder or chest workout and so on.
Rehab should be done religiously. As Gaytri Vartak, sports psychologist shares, “During injury rehab, the time needed for recovery should be completed. People often try to get back into action without completing their rehab.
Rehab is both physical as well as mental and both should be given equal importance. It is vital to have patience and think positive to build muscle memory in a goodway.Comparing yourself with others during the recovery phase can hamper the rehab process. Patience is the key if you have to make a strong comeback.”
If you are one of those, who can’t wait to hit the gym floor after battling an injury, take it easy. A recovered body will make you stronger than before, only if you plan to make a timely comeback.
► During injury rehab, time needed for recovery should be completed. People try to get back without completing rehab
- Gaytri Vartak, Sports Psychologist
► Exercise is a subject where individual thinks s/he is an expert and ends up following the wrong workout routine
- Anand Gangwal, Sports & Muscskeltal Physiotherapist