There’s nothing worse than getting into a great workout routine, making a really consistent habit, and then getting thrown a curveball with an injury! It’s happened to me a few times (lower back, turf toe, shin splints, rolled ankles, etc.) and it’s so frustrating not being able to stick to my routine. Here are my top tips (either learned through experience or passed down by various trainers I’ve used). Stay safe out there, friends!
- Warm Up – you need to get that blood flowing to your muscles! If you eliminate your warm up, you risk hurting those cold, stiff muscles. Help yourself perform better by taking some time to do some dynamic stretching or lower intensity exercises before you get going.
- Listen to Your Body – Rest! This one is hard for me but always remember – your body performs better when you give it rest. Working out, especially resistance training, breaks down body tissue. Rest days means your muscles, nerves, and bones have time to rebuild. This includes taking enough rest between workout days as well as getting a good nights sleep! When you have your REM sleep, your production of growth hormones increases, which helps repair and rebuild muscles after working out.
- Have the Right Form – It’s always more important to make sure your form is right before you try to increase your weights. If you’re not engaging the right muscles during your workouts, tensing the wrong muscles or overall, not doing the workout right, you’re probably going to get injured. Look in the mirror, watch a few videos, ask for help. Because I got into working out on my own, I didn’t have people to help me with my form, so I relied heavily on YouTube and Instagram videos to understand form and technique.
- Use the Right Amount of Weight – This is just as key as having the right form. If you’re using a weight that is too heavy for you, you run the risk of injury by trying to do something you’re not quite ready for.
- Stretch! Last but not least, the one I’m the biggest culprit of trying to avoid is stretching. Once my workout is done, I’m ready to go. But I am constantly reminding myself to slow down and stretch it out. Stretching keeps your muscles flexible and strong and you need that to maintain range of motion. If you don’t, your muscles could shorten and become tight. It also helps reduce pain and stiffness, which no one likes!