Sports medicine doesn’t only focus on the treatment of injuries related to sports and exercise, but the prevention of those injuries as well. When it comes to lifting weights specifically, it is important to make sure you are protecting your body correctly to prevent unwanted injuries. When using incorrect form or weights that are heavier than your body can support, it can produce repetitive stress to the muscles, causing acute damage such as a hamstring injury. Continue reading to learn more about lifting techniques from Scott Greenberg MD that can save you from an unwanted weightlifting injury down the road!
Always Stretch Beforehand
Never skip your stretch! Stretching before any workout loosens up the muscles and allows them to become resistant to the impact they are about to undergo. The more flexible you can make your body, the less likely it is for you to get a weightlifting injury due to slighter movements. Stretching also improves your range of motion which slows down the degeneration of joints. Post-workout some people tend to feel their muscles uncomfortably tighten which causes pain and aches after the workout, but can easily be prevented with stretching. Scott Greenberg, MD always recommends the contraction and relaxation method; which is a series of contracting and relaxing the muscles during the stretch process. Think of your muscles like a ratchet as they contract and by using this method it helps to loosen the ratchet and makes lengthening the muscle easier again.
Keep Your Chest Forward
It is crucial when you are weightlifting to keep your chest forward. When you keep your chest forward, you are also keeping your back straight which protects your lower back from being vulnerable. Protecting your back is key when performing heavy lifts as it is such a vital part of any type of training and can be easily hurt. Keeping your chest forward also allows your body to have more control of the core and not to twist. Twisting your body when lifting can cause serious back injuries.
Bend Your Knees
One of the most common mistakes people make that cause a weightlifting injury is not bending their knees when lifting. When picking up or moving an object, it is crucial that you bend your knees and not your back, ultimately keeping your back straight and putting the stress onto your leg muscles to do the heavy lifting.
Weightlifting the same part of the body every single day, or training too often without a proper rest day, can cause a serious weightlifting injury. For example, using the squat rack every single day can lead to major hamstring and quad strain. In addition to a weightlifting injury, overtraining can cause sleep insomnia, regularly feeling sick, extreme muscle soreness, emotional changes, and overall poor results. However, there are simple ways to get back on track if you are worried about overtraining, such as:
- Planning weekly rest days
- Keeping record of how you feel after every workout and comparing it to similar ones
- Getting a good night’s sleep regularly
- Keeping your workouts to under 2 hours
Disregarding proper weightlifting techniques, no matter the level of athleticism will ultimately and unfortunately lead to a weightlifting injury! If you are dealing with a weight lifting injury, regenerative medicine can help to heal your body, protect your joints, and ultimately make you even stronger than you were before.
Schedule a consultation with Scott Greenberg MD today and begin your recovery journey tomorrow.