When it comes to pushing your body's limits, injuries are going to happen. What isn't supposed to happen is frequent injuries, especially as a beginner. You can actually go years into training without any serious injuries. Though I have had MANY minor injuries, it took almost 8 years of intense work outs to get a major injury. That's coming from a guy who would find the most difficult routines possible and try to make them even harder. That's not to say injuries are okay, but rather to help you be aware that it takes quite a bit to actually get pretty injured. For the "average Joe", injuries should not even be a thought. As a beginner lifter, injuries are a huge sign of error in your training and/or recovery. In this article, I will be explaining the three reasons why people keep getting injured in the gym.
Losing Muscle Tension
Starting the article with a HUGE misunderstanding with many exercises, losing tension in the muscle can increase risk of injury. Even exercises such as jumps (the landing), deadlifting, pause bench pressing, and pull-ups require muscle tension before the initial repetition or halt. Always perform these repetition with isometric contractions (tensing the muscle before the lift) and keeping the muscles under tension at the bottom (do not relax the muscles and place load on the joints).
A huge, but most commonly talked about reason for injury (for a good reason) is improper form. Due to anatomy and mobility, form will not always be the exact same, the generalized guidelines should always apply for each exercise. Generalized improper form looks like a hunched back deadlift, swinging your body during a heavy bicep curl, using your back rather than your legs during a squat, benching with your elbows flaired all the way out, and etc.
Slacking On Recovery
Whether it is recovery of the muscles, joints, or nervous system. Recovery is just as, if not more important than the training itself. You do not grow from lifting, you grow from recovering. In order to optimize recovery you must 1) optimize your diet based on your goals 2) find a routine (or hire a coach to customize one for you) that allows recovery phases in your training 3) perform active recovery exercises.
Three of the reasons why people get injured deal with muscle tension, exercise form, and recovery. In order to reduce your risk of injury you must keep the load on the muscles (not the joints), perform proper exercise form (generalized due to anatomical differences), and optimize your recovery in order to recover from the damage your body takes from lifting weights.
Remember, to progress we must be consistent. In order to be consistent, we must repeat our progressive actions for long periods of time. In order to perform these actions for a long period of time, we must stay injury free.
Staying injury free is the key to long term success with your fitness goals.