Many gym injuries can be avoided by developing better awareness of the movements of the body. Australian Institute of Fitness VIC Coach Ben Gunn suggested some ways to minimise upper and lower body injuries in the gym.
Upper body awareness
Let’s take the push-up as an upper body example. This is a staple in most fitness programs as it is a compound movement that primarily targets the chest while secondarily targeting the arms.
When done correctly, the push-up will train and condition the chest, with some secondary benefits to the triceps and shoulders. The most common complaint of this exercise is not of chest or elbow pain, but of strain to the muscles and structures that should only play an assisting role in the movement such as the rotator cuff and deltoids.
Lower body awareness
The squat is our second example of an exercise that can cause injury if not done properly. The squat is a great compound movement that targets the glutes, hamstrings and quads. When done correctly this exercise will really strengthen and shape your behind. The most common complaint of this exercise is not of glute or hip pain, but of strain to the muscles and structures that should only play an assisting or secondary role such as the knee and the back.
Mastering your body awareness one muscle at a time will go a long way towards you putting in your most polished performances in the gym. It can also mean a lot more pain as you’ll be avoiding injuries and trips to the Physio too.