Exercise is a key component to keeping your body and mind fit. Everyone will benefit from working out, but only if you do so correctly. Many different things could go wrong during a workout, so it is important that you prepare and use the proper precautions. An accident that leads to injury will hamper your workout progress more than just about anything else, so it pays to be extra careful.
Regardless whether you are picking up dumbbells for the first time, or you are someone who has been consistently pumping iron for 30 years, everyone needs to follow some basic guidelines for staying sage at the gym. Gym equipment is designed to be as safe as it can be, but no design in the world is going to be able to account for human error. So, play it safe and you should be sweating and aching in all the right places.
Keep reading to find out how you can prevent an injury while training with dumbbells.
Stretch Before and After
The first bit of advice is something that a fair amount of exercise enthusiasts seem to forget about more often than not. Stretching is so important to get your muscles, tendons, and joints ready for the upcoming punishment. It helps make everything looser, oxygenated, and generally more prepared to exercise.
By stretching out your muscles properly, before and after, you are also going to do your best to prevent pesky muscle tears that can put you out of commission for a long time. Just do your best to get a proper stretch and get your blood flowing before you really start your workout. That’s one of the best ways to avoid a dumbbell injury.
Know Your Limits
Yes, the point of exercising and working out is to get stronger and better at the particular exercises you do. However, this does not mean that you should push yourself too hard too soon. Your body can only take so much punishment before it starts to ache, so it is probably a bad idea to add an extra 50 kilos to your max bench press. Using too much weight too soon is one of the most common rookie mistakes that can result in major injuries, so it pays to know your limits.
Your limits here don’t have to be on weight alone, as not everyone is going to work out with weights. Cardiovascular activities such as running and cycling is are great ways to get your heart pumping so you can burn off excess calories, but only if you listen to your body. If your legs start cramping or you start feeling the pain you need to know it is time to stop or drastically slow down.
Why is it important to take it slow?
A dumbbell workout, having in mind the muscle it can target, will always be a co-depended one. This means that you will rarely ever do it in isolation from other types of training. Most people put their dumbbell workout on chest day, when they can work their entire pectoral area, but also the biceps.
It goes without saying that a demanding routine on the bench will leave little room for a demanding session with a pair of dumbbells. So what is my advice? Take the first part of the workout slow, and you can exert more power when you finally lift those dumbbells.
The same goes for doing cardio, or just about anything else. If the dumbbell workout succeeds another one, make sure that you pace yourself during the first part of your training session, as to avoid a dumbbell injury.
This tip can save you from hours of agonizing muscle cramps, which – as anyone who’s ever experienced this will tell you – really, really hurts. When working out, you are naturally going to sweat a lot, that’s if you are doing it right and you’re giving your muscles a thorough workout. Keep in mind that everything that goes out of your body is going to need to be replenished.
Make sure to keep lots of water on hand and even a sports drink or two to help replenish those electrolytes and salts lost through sweat. Water, really is the essence of life, and you are going to be doing your body a big favour by staying hydrated while exercising.
Listen to Your Body to avoid a dumbbell injury
Everyone is going to have different abilities and skill levels at the gym, so it is difficult to say exactly what an individual workout should look like. Your best gauge of success with exercise is to listen to what your body is telling you. Some mild aches and pains are a good thing and come with the territory, but overdoing the set is one of the ways to cause a dumbbell injury.
If you notice something is too painful or just not right, it is time to listen as your body is telling you something is wrong. Ultimately, though, your body will take some time to adjust to the workout and it’s very likely you’ll feel stiff the next day, but if you take on board the aforementioned tips then you’ll increase your body’s conditioning and improve recovery time.
Avoid jerky movements with the dumbbells
In order to get the most out of your dumbbell workout, you will have to perform slow and controlled movements. This is the only way to activate the proper muscles, and also ensure the greatest amount of burn.
But going slow is not only about efficiency. It has to do with staying injury-free as well. If you perform the repetitions with a jerky movement, you can easily strain yourself and be out of the gym for days.
Using the dumbbell for different exercises
The only rule you need to remember when using the dumbbell for different types of exercise, is to keep correct form. If , say, you are doing a front loaded squat, where the weight is supplied by the dumbbell, you only have to make sure to keep the proper posture for the squat.
It is also important to bend your back slowly when putting the weights down, since most of the lower back injuries happen after the set is actually over. Dumbbell relate injuries definitely fall within this category!
All in all, if you’re the type of person who regularly works out then you’ll already know that proper pace and energy awareness are the best precaution mechanisms when it comes to injury prevention. Always remember that before you start to work out you should be adequately fed and hydrated. Do also note that you have to stretch your muscles to prevent muscle strains.
Try not to overwork yourself and know your limits, since for as much as you might want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, you need to get there incrementally and over-lifting is the fastest way to an early gym hiatus. The best way to avoid a dumbbell injury is to follow some of the tips above, and take it one step at a time.