Gabriel Patterson, Winnipeg Personal Trainer on Avoiding Workout Injuries

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It’s very easy to pick up bad workout habits if you’re trying to get fit for the first time. Even dedicated fitness fanatics often pick the wrong exercises or do the right exercises in the wrong way. These mistakes can easily lead to injury, sometimes the kind of damage that will keep you from exercising for weeks. Here, Gabriel Patterson, Winnipeg fitness expert shares how to stay uninjured and focused on fitness.  


Avoid Kipping Pull Ups 

Kipping pull-ups are very popular among beginners who do not have enough arm strength for traditional pull-ups. They use a leg swing to give extra momentum to a pull up to get the chin higher than the bar, so they don’t require quite as much arm strength. Even more, experienced exercise enthusiasts like them because they can get a few more pull-ups out of every set. However, kipping pull-ups involve sudden whiplash stress, which can tear tendons and muscles. A few extra reps are not worth the risk. 


Stay Off of Ab Machines 

People who are trying to get well-defined abs love ab machines. They shouldn’t, though. They increase the risk of injury because they work by isolating the abdominal muscles. Isolation can be dangerous, as it causes differential muscle development, which leads to imbalance. Stabilizer muscles do not get developed enough so when the ab muscles are used in the real world, serious injury results. 


Don’t Overdo the High-Intensity Interval Training 

High-Intensity Interval Training is an excellent way of increasing your aerobic capacity. It can do wonders for your endurance. However, a lot of beginners get overenthusiastic and wind up hurting themselves. If you are beginning a fitness program, cut back on the higher intensity exercises at first. Just switch between slow, and fast movements until you get a feel for your capacity. 


No Favorite Exercises 

Some people have a favorite exercise, one they do all the time instead of switching up their routine. Maybe it’s because they think it’s fun. Perhaps they are just obsessed with developing a particular muscle group. However, having a favorite exercise leads to overusing specific muscles. You need to vary your workout regularly. If you don’t, you will be vulnerable to repetitive-use injuries, such as shin splints and tendinitis. 


Know How to Use the Equipment 

A lot of people don’t know how to use their exercise equipment properly. They go to the gym and try to do what the other people using the machine did. This is a terrible idea. Even a slight difference in positioning, or a small missed step, can lead to serious injury. Always get appropriately trained on the equipment you use,” shared Gabriel Patterson 


The Takeaway 

Take care, and learn how to do your chosen exercises the right way. Regularly change up your routine. Being smart about your workouts keeps you from the kinds of injury that will prevent your working out at all.