Using proper gym techniques is a necessary practice but it’s easy to let that slide to the wayside, especially if you’re going after a long break and simply want to push through it rather than worry about proper form.
But gym care needs to be the first of your worries as your health club membership is worthless if your body moves in ways that result in an injury that keeps you from regular exercise.
An injury might mean you can’t do cardio or weights anymore. It’s therefore essential to practice your fitness and wellness using proper movements. Preventing injury requires a certain amount of right attitudes and considerations, obviously. But, what are they, exactly? Below is your guide to working out safely at the gym as part of a pleasant and personally-rewarding fitness journey.
Proper gym techniques include:
Make sure you warm up
It’s important to warm up as soon as you enter the gym. That is, before you begin running, lifting, boxing, skipping, rowing, or any other movement.
Elevating your heart rate to the place it needs to be will help you prepare for more intensive exercises afterward. Jumping jacks, a brisk walk on a treadmill, a few body-weight exercises or simply lifting with an empty bar could be enough to get your body into the desired physical shape.
Many people will tell you to stretch before a workout, and that’s good advice. But, it can also be terrible advice, depending on how you are taught to stretch.
Static stretching is stationery and is not the habit to choose to begin a workout. Stretching your muscles in this way before a hefty workout can result in an injury as you’re simply stretching the muscle and doing nothing to warm it up and prepare it for the upcoming load.
Dynamic stretching, instead, is a much better and more advisable way of going about things than static. Examples are
- Swinging your leg from side to side in controlled arcs
- A limited number of push-ups or body-weight squats
- Some fluid yoga stretches
- A brisk jog
All of the above can help prepare your body for movement. You will never find physical exercise without movement, so warming up in this way is obviously useful.
You only need to see the spinal cord injury statistics to learn how prevalent warming up and correct body postures are for overall health. Be sure to retain this info as important, if not more important, than your main workout.
Wear proper clothing and footwear
This one ought to be obvious but still needs stating here. Correct-fitting suitable footwear is important. It’s vital, actually.
Running shoes and lifting shoes are different, and it’s important to know why and how they affect you. Avoid wearing jewelry too as it only contributes to distraction at best and something to catch on things at worst.
There’s a reason your gym coach asked you to cover your ear studs with tape in middle school. For the most part, your clothing should be loose, comfortable yet supportive, and well-fitting.
A t-shirt and comfortable-fitting fitness bottoms are often enough for most people. Choose breathable fabrics, such as cotton, or use nylon activewear if you prefer.
Know your limits
Don’t overstretch yourself. When you start out, it can be tempting to work your hardest as you’re full of motivation and discipline from the New Year’s resolutions or watching Tony Robbins DVDs.
However, consistent progress is much better than immediate progress and is much more realistic long-term too.
Entering the gym only to injure yourself and feel exhausted the next morning is much less sustainable than entering the facility, contributing what you can and improving, and then leaving for the day.
Track your progress in a realistic way, with the help of technology, and don’t be afraid of a plateau in your progress. The best results come in time and as your body adapts to the exercise you will find yourself becoming comfortable with more intensity over time.
Good gym techniques require research
Fitness is not something to learn about, perform, and then forget all about. Instead, it’s a dynamic habit; it’s something that keeps you present in your daily being and happy in your progress.
You must continually research diet plans, exercise techniques, and grow your knowledge base to be all you can be in the gym and outside of it. Doing so will help you become a great gym-goer, improve your safety there, and tailor your schedule to one that truly fits your needs and body.
With these tips, you’ll find that your gym techniques will help prevent you from injury in any capacity. I wish you the best with your fitness goals.