You go to the gym to get healthier and fitter. However, the gym can also be a dangerous place, where you may suffer some serious injury. You may even DIE… Okay, I may be exaggerating. The chances of dying in the gym are virtually zero. However, it is possible to suffer painful and severe injuries during workouts.
Through my years of training at gyms I’ve seen people get hurt in all sorts of stupid ways. I even suffered some gym injuries myself and they were all easily avoidable.
I hope that this post will help you avoid some of these potential hazards and train safely for years to come.
Here are 6 ways to get injured in the gym:
Fall Over a Running Treadmill
A treadmill can be a dangerous machine. Not Terminator 2 style dangerous machine, but a hazard nontheless. A running treadmill is like a hunter looking for people who lose their concentration. One bad step on a running treadmill and you’ll be flying like a kite with a hole in it: straight onto the floor.
Some people are stupid enough to leave a treadmill running when they’re not even on it. If you’re not careful, you may step on the belt, thinking that it’s idle and it will sweep your feet from under you in a moment.
This actually happend to me a few years ago. I was trying to pass someone who was in my way, placed a foot on a treadmill someone left running, fell, my arm hit the belt, and I was left with a deep skin abrasion the size of Rhode Island.
I know that Rhose Island is rather small so this may not seem serious, but it sure hurt like hell and took a few weeks to heal. I still have the scar tissue.
So, be careful around treadmills. They’re seeking out their next prey.
Being Caught Under a Large Weight Without A Spotter
Working with a spotter can save you from serious injury. Spotters are usually called for when you perform chest presses with a barbell. If you’re packing on the weight, it’s quite possible that you won’t be able to complete the final repetition in your set. If this happens, you’ll be stuck under a steel bar which is pressing down on your chest. Quite painful.
However, chest presses aren’t the only exercise in which such a thing may happen. I once saw a guy who performed squats in a machine which allowed him to add a lot of weight. He was stuck in the middle of the movement, with his knees bent and a few hundred pounds pressing down on him.
By the time he was freed, he suffered such severe muscle cramps that two gym trainers had him lie down and they shook his legs for 15 minutes just to get him to be able to walk again. It was quite a sight.
Falling Over a Weight
Not returning weights to their proper place when you’re through with them is bad gym etiquette. I once shouted at a guy who simply left his weights on the gym floor. This was silly of me since he was much bigger than me. However, he was apparently shocked to submission because he actually did what I told him.
Every weight is a hurdle that can trip you and, since so many people don’t know how to behave in the gym, the floor may be littered with dozens of weights.
It’s bad enough to trip over a weight, but when you’re holding dumbbells yourself, it’s quite easy to lose your balance and fall on your face. So, keep your eyes on the ground when you’re walking around your gym.
Have a weight drop on you (from a barbell or other people)
If you placing weights on a dumbbell, make sure that they’re secure. Otherwise, you may end up with some broken toes. If you see someone working with a barbell, it’s best to keep your distance. I’ve seen people being hit by a falling plate. It’s not pretty.
One stupid workout habit that some people have is to throw down their dumbbells when they finish with their set. It’s as if they work with such heavy weights that they can’t calmly lower them to the floor. Thrown weights have a tendency to bounce, roll, or simply fall on top of innocent bystanders. Take care that you are not one of them.
Work With Poor Technique
In my previous post about personal trainers I talked about the importance of working out with proper form. This isn’t done merely to do more effective workouts for fat loss or muscle building purposes. It’s important for your health.
Working out with improper form can lead to injuries. These can keep you from training for weeks or months, eliminating all of your hard earned results.
Try To Lift Too Much Weight
Do you want to sprain your back? Here’s a tip: lift too much weight.
Now, I’m all for pushing yourself in the gym, doing metabolic resistance training circuits, lifting heavy weights, and so on. However, there is a limit to everything. You can’t overdo things. You need to know your real strength. So, don’t “force” your body to lift too much. Do challenging workouts, but be reasonable about it.
The gym can be a dangerous place. You need to keep your eyes open for the hazards I’ve outlined above. Have fun in your workouts, train hard, but keep it safe.
If you ever suffered a gym injury, tell me about it in the comments below.