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How to avoid getting injured while working out

Jun 12, 2008
I get a lot of mail from my readers and from this I have learned that while a lot of you who visit my site are old pros at bodybuilding, a lot of people who stop by are new to weight lifting, or are just looking for information on fitness in general. As such, I felt compelled to write this article on a topic I feel very strongly about: safety.

Although it's great to see how excited people are when they first start weight lifting (especially bodybuilding) but many of us old pros know that injuries CAN happen in the gym. Also when you are new to the world of working out - there is a temptation to do to much and try to grow and progress too fast because you're impatient, as well as a much greater chance of doing something in a potentially harmful way due to inexperience.

Now we do learn from our mistakes; but I hate to see anyone having their learning experience based on a painful injury. Getting injured during a workout can keep you sidelined for weeks, even months so I'd like to offer some tips on staying safe while you get ripped.

Listen to your body. Many injuries occur from people trying to "play through the pain". You should never, ever do this. Pain is your body's way of telling you to stop what you're doing. In this way, pain can be a friend who tells us "hey - take it easy there".

Know your limitations. If you have knee problems (or back problems, etc), don't do exercises which will place a lot of stress on your problem areas - running, leg presses, etc. If you do, you're just asking for an injury. I know this sounds like something everyone should know, but you'd be surprised how many people who should know better hurt themselves this way.

Please, please, please don't neglect to warm up! Although it can be tempting to just "jump in" to a weight lifting routine, sprints, or whatever it is, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting an injury by doing a quick warm up before you get started. Stretches are good but if you're weightlifting, start with a few reps using a lighter weight than you intend to use in your workout (this will ensure the muscles you're about to hit hard are thoroughly warmed up enough to begin!).

Last, consider getting a little expert advice. While you don't necessarily need a personal trainer on a permanent basis, having the input of a pro for your first few workouts can be invaluable. They can give you pointers on the safe ways to do whatever your target workout is; and tell you what to avoid.

It is important to make sure you go about getting fit in a safe manner. And I totally believe there is a workout or fitness plan for every man, woman and child. These tips will help you make the most of your body - without having an avoidable injury. Stay safe and see you at the gym!
About the Author
Fitness expert Caleb Lee can teach you a lot about building muscle. His website will teach you how to build muscle fast.
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