As temps outside are stalled in the triple digits, gyms are crowded with people packed in and trying to get their daily workouts done.
Crowded gyms can actually lead to serious injuries with folks bumping into each other (often times holding heavy weights) or rushing through exercises using improper form to make room for others.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission found that there were more than 526,000 ER visits due to gym injuries in 2017.
As sports medicine experts, we have seen our fair share of gym injuries over time.
Some of the most common ones, and how to avoid them, include:
Lumbar strains: strained lower back muscles as a result of improper technique when lifting weights.
- Practice straighter posture at all times to strengthen core muscles or add some ab strengthening exercises to your routine.
Hamstring strains: the muscle is injured at the back of the thigh when overstretched too quickly.
- Be sure to warm up and do leg stretches before every workout.
Pulled groin: muscles in the hip and pelvic area are stretched out from rapid side-to-side movements.
- Use resistance bands to strengthen upper thigh and pelvic muscles and slow it down while reaching out to do side stretches.
Rotator cuff tendonitis: an overuse injury of the shoulder area due to repeatedly using the same exercise machines or heavy lifting.
- Try resistance bands to strengthen shoulder muscles and joints, and never lose sight of your hands when lifting weights. Allowing your hands to go behind your head and out of view will put too much strain on your rotator cuff.
Fractures or broken bones: most often from dropped weights, usually to the toes or other foot bones.
- Seek immediate help if you suspect a broken bone or have a serious skin laceration from a dropped weight. Practice caution when carrying weights around the gym, and take routes to detour large groups of people if necessary to avoid a run-in.
Pain from any of these can be typically treated with ice, and ample rest from activities. If your pain is severe, contact us for an appointment with one of our sports medicine specialists. We even have same day and after hour appointments.
(Adapted from Men’s Health)