Incurring an injury at the gym is probably one of the most frustrating experiences you’ll have to face in your fitness journey. This is especially true if you love to train.
I’m guessing that if you’re reading this blog right now then the concept of having to stop working out is much like the idea of getting your arm cut off.
I personally think getting injured is a good thing for most people.
And no, I’m not a sadistic trainer who revels in the fact that other people get hurt. Far from it.
I believe that any situation that brings pain in your life is a great opportunity to evolve.
Like that time in my life where I had chronic lower back problems. It was once so bad that getting up and down from a seated position had to be done carefully. One false move up or down would result in massive pain.
For a period of 5 years I, quite literally, looked like a 50 year old man who just had hip surgery and…it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
The pain I felt when I was debilitated by that lower back injury drove me to learn about most of the injury prevention concepts you’ll read in this blog post.
I used pain and created an opportunity for myself to evolve, which is something you can do too.
I don’t wish you a life without pain. I wish you the strength to use your pain as an opportunity to evolve.
While some of injuries can’t be avoided, we CAN train our bodies in such ways become stronger, faster and overall increase our immunity to injuries.
So while the blog post states that you’ll get 6 Ways to Bulletproof Your Body From Injury we’re going to go in a roundabout way to it.
We’ll talk about a possible reason for your injury and then the solution to that problem. It makes for a much more concise set up and if you’re guilty of any of the following then “avoidance” is one of the best solutions to an injured body.
So here are some reasons why you get injured and the subsequent solution to fixing it.
6 Reasons You Get Injured (and How to Solve Them)
Reason #1 – You are working out 5-7 days consecutively with no rest in between.
If you are working out in a metabolic conditioning type of fashion then going 5-7 days straight is not giving your body enough time to adequately get its rest and recovery.
This is also a reason why you may feel your strength plateau and get stuck a lifting a certain weight.
When you really get addicted to this workout stuff there is a possibility that you may want to do it all day errr day.
But that’s not smart.
Not to get into the science of it all but your workout program needs to have a recovery portion scheduled into it.
Not incorporating rest will results in plateaus, lack of progress and leaves you open to MORE INJURIES.
SOLUTION – This is very simple…get REST. Especially if you’ve been going super hard at the gym for 5-7 days a week straight.
Allow your muscles at least a day in between of good rest especially if you’re doing metabolical conditioning type of workouts.
What you’ll actually find is that through rest and recovery your progress will be much faster. If you’re a fitness addict, it will also allow you to understand how to live life outside of the gym.
Reason #2 – You skip doing dynamic warm ups done before your workout.
Dynamic warm ups have been proven by research to help your body get stronger, faster and avoid injuries.
But people regularly skip them because they’re either uneducated on them or just plain lazy. A good warm up is like foreplay before sex.
Sure, you could just jump right into things but by doing so you’ll end up leaving both parties incredibly unsatisfied.
SOLUTION – Start doing dynamic warm ups before your workout…NOW. Make it a religious practice. Commit yourself to doing it for 21 workouts straight and mark down each time you do it and each time you don’t.
Here’s a quick one you can do that only takes a little more than 5 minutes:
3 Benefits to Starting Your Workout with a Dynamic Warm Up
1. You release synovial fluid into your joints. Synovial fluid is like lubrication for your joints.
2. It preps your body for intense exercise more than any static stretch could ever do. In fact, static stretching should be eliminated from your workouts entirely.
SIDE NOTE: It has been proven multiple times that static stretching has ZERO effectiveness in helping clients reduce injury.
See below study on how static stretching is ineffective and reduces strength in participants. This is just one of many studies pointing to the idea that static stretches are largely a giant waste of time.
3. You stimulate your sympathetic nervous system. This is the system that creates that “fight or flight” response in your body and preps it intense workouts. Dean Somerset has a really cool way of doing this at the blog post here.
Doing a dynamic warm up pre-exercise does not take that long and will result in an increase in strength, speed, and power while making your body resilient to injury.
Reason #3 – You do not do self myofascial release (self massage) pre or post workout.
Just like people skipping dynamic warm ups pre workout, people will skip Self Myofascial release in their workouts due to not being educated and just plain laziness.
Self Myofascial Release (SMR) is the process of massaging yourself using either a foam roller or lacrosse ball and it is by far the best way to heal your poorly functioning fascial tissue.
The beauty of it is that can do SMR in the comfort in your own home or in the gym and it will help heal your old injuries, prevent any new ones and increase your body’??s ability to lift, move, run, throw and jump.
SMR smoothes out the dysfunction in your fascial tissue so your muscles are always working at it’??s best peak efficiency all day long.
When you apply SMR to your body you are essentially fixing your current fascial issues, healing old adhesions and dysfunctions in the muscle and creating an environment were your body operate at its BEST.
When this happens you actually have MORE strength, speed, flexibility and power because your muscles will fire off in the way it was meant to.
You’ll also have MORE energy than ever before because your body will be moving more efficiently FREE of any dysfunction in your muscle tissue.
SOLUTION – Do this SMR routine before your workouts. 30 seconds per side. Do the same SMR routine after your workouts but for 1 minute at a time with emphasis on holding the trigger points.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Doing the dynamic warm ups and SMR pre workout are ESPECIALLY important if you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk for long periods of time. If you workout on a regular basis and have a sedentary job then you cannot afford to skip out on these.
Reason #4 – You are exercising with Bad Form
One thing that grinds my gears is watching people program their workouts with complicated exercises before they’ve even mastered doing the 4 Pillar Moves (squat, deadlift, bench press and Chin up).
If you are a newbie, or even a veteran lifter, get a qualified trainer to watch your form and critique it.
Sure it’ll cost you a bit of money up front but the benefits will last you a lifetime when you understand how to properly lift.
SOLUTION – Start taking videos of the pillar lifts mentioned above and get a qualified trainer to critique your form. Also practice the cues below in plank position then in your pillar lifts…
3 Cues to Ensure Our Girls Are An Exercise Correctly With Great Form
1. Grip the weight with as much strength as possible – This protects our rotator cuff and ensures our shoulder capsules close to avoid injury. It also puts our bodies emphasis on training the muscles needed.
2. Brace your abs and glutes – This creates a vice around your spine thus protecting it and also works as a great ab workout. Keep your entire body tight throughout the exercise and you’ll ensure you’ll come away from an exercise unscathed.
3. Posture, Posture, Posture – Keep your chest up, shoulders back, straighten out your lower back and keep your chin neutral. This is where having a solid workout partner or trainer comes in.
One cue I use for my transformation clients is to “Posture Up”. This little cue automatically gets their bodies into the anatomically correct position for a lift.
Reason #5 – You are consistently working out to Failure or beyond.
When you are training you must ensure that if you do any set, be it strength or bodyweight, to stop one rep before failure.
This makes sure that we develop strength, build muscle, and, most importantly, AVOIDS injury.
What does “failure” on an exercise look like?
– When you feel or see your form break.
– When you use other parts of their body to lift a weight. Example: Doing a back row and using your body as momentum to lift the weight.
– When you see your posture break while doing an exercise (rounded upper/lower back, shoulders rounded etc..)
This is not to say to avoid failing on an exercise 100% of the time. In 10% of the cases (like when trying to attempt a heavier weight) your body will go to failure. This is a rule to follow about 90% of the time.
SOLUTION – Begin the practice of stopping one to two reps before failure. Use a trainer, workout partner, or mirror to monitor your form. When it starts breaking then just allow yourself to stop. Monitor your strength gains by using this particular method and see if it correlates with better numbers.
And the final and most important reason why our bodies get injured is…
Reason #6 – Your habit of sitting is slowly KILLING your body.
Sitting is a silent killer that sneaks up on you – even if you’re healthy.
First comes the PAIN. (You may already be at this stage!)
Most don’t even know why their back or neck ends up incessantly hurting, because sitting secretly causes your body’s collapse to go unnoticed…until it’s too late.
Symptoms of Sitting “Too Much”?
– aching and tight muscles,
– creeping blood pressure,
– automatic tendency to weight gain (even when you work out),
– cloudy thinking and forgetfulness
– poor and restless sleep
And the problem is that repeated studies have now proven that working out does little to NOTHING to help you avoid chronic pain or disease…IF YOU REGULARLY SIT!
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.
There are specific movements you can do on a regular basis to avoid the drawbacks from sitting too much that don’t involve impossible things like avoiding sitting and avoiding working out.
SOLUTION – My go-to resource for reversing the effects of sitting has to be Dr. Chris Walding from TheSittingSolution.com. He’s come up with a system that reverses the effects of sitting quickly and effectively.
He’s come up with bulletproof method to cure your body from the stress of sitting and he does it in a way that is non-invasive on your lifestyle.
If you’re active and you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time then this is the one program I’d make the investment in to keep your body working at 100%.
Find out more down below…