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  1. #1
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    Red face Advice on recovery!

    Hello guys,

    I've been working out for around 6 months and I want to make sure that I stay as injury free as possible! I understand that recovery is important, but what can I regularly do in order to decrease the risk of injury?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Managing Dir., Rx Muscle Forums Curt James's Avatar
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    This is easily Googleable (that's not a word, is it?), but...

    TOP 10 WAYS TO AVOID INJURY

    The last thing you need is an injury keeping you from the gym (or worse, in a cast). Here are 10 training pitfalls you need to avoid when hitting the iron.

    1) Poor technique

    The most common weight-training injuries are those related to the use of poor exercise technique. Incorrect technique can pull, rip or wrench a muscle or tear delicate connective tissue quicker than you can strike a match. An out-of-control barbell or stray dumbbell can wreak havoc in an instant. Each human body has very specific biomechanical pathways. Arms and legs can only move in certain ways, particularly if you're stress-loading a limb with weight. Strive to become a technical perfectionist and respect the integrity of the exercise —no twisting, turning or contorting while pushing a weight. Either make the rep using perfect technique or miss the weight. Learn how to miss a rep safely; learn how to bail out.

    2) Too much weight

    Using too much weight in an exercise is a high-risk proposition ripe with injury potential. What's too much: If you can't control a weight on its downward, loading trajectory; if you can't contain a movement within its biomechanical boundaries; and if you have to jerk or heave a weight in order to lift it. An out-of-control barbell or dumbbell assumes a mind of its own; the weight obeys the laws of gravity and seeks the floor. Anything in its way (or attached to it) is in danger.

    Let's define our terms: A warm-up is usually a high-rep, low-intensity, quick-paced exercise mode used to increase blood flow to the muscles. This quick, light movement raises the temperature of the involved muscles, while also decreasing blood viscosity and promoting flexibility and mobility. How? Everyone knows that a warm muscle with blood coursing through it is more elastic and pliable then a cold, stiff muscle. Riding a stationary bike, jogging, swimming, stair climbing and some high-rep weight training are recommended forms of warm-up.

    Try a 5-10-minute formalized warm-up before stretching. If you choose high-rep weight training, try 25 ultralight, quick reps in the following nonstop sequence: calf raise, squat, leg curl, crunch, pull-down, bench press and curl. Do one set each with no rest between sets. This can be accomplished in fewer than five minutes and warms every major muscle in the body.

    Stretching is different than warming up. Properly performed, a stretch helps relax and elongate a muscle after warm-up and before and after weight training. As a result of warming up and stretching, the muscle is warm, loose and neurologically alert — at its most pliable and injury-resistant. In addition, stretching between sets actually helps build muscle by promoting muscular circulation and increasing the elasticity of the fascia casing surrounding the muscle. Finally, if you perform muscle-specific stretches at the conclusion of your workout, you'll find that this will virtually eliminate next-day soreness.

    If you lift long enough, you'll eventually get to a point where you need to have a spotter(s) for a number of exercises, including the squat and bench press. When you work as hard as you're supposed to, you occasionally miss a rep. Nothing wrong with that — it's a sign that you're working to your limit, which is a good thing if it isn't overdone. Yet when you work this hard, you need competent spotters. A good spotter should conduct himself at all times as though the lifter is on the verge of total failure. Your training partner can also give you a gentle touch that allows you to complete a rep you'd normally miss. A top spotter needs be strong, sensitive and ever alert to the possibility of failure — not looking around or joking with friends.

    Cheating and forced reps are advanced techniques that allow the lifter to train beyond normal. Taken beyond the point of failure, the muscle is literally forced to grow. When incorrectly performed, a cheat or forced rep can push or pull the lifter out of the groove. The weight collapses and a spotter has to rescue the lifter.

    Cheating movements work; real-world data prove this statement. Yet cheating, by definition, is dangerous. Any time you use momentum to artificially goose rep speed, thus allowing the lifter to handle more poundage then he could using strict techniques, you risk injury. To play it safe, use the bare-minimum cheat to complete the rep. On forced reps, make sure your training partner is on your wavelength. Don't go crazy.

    How does overtraining relate to injury? It negatively impacts the body's overall level of strength and conditioning. Overtraining saps energy that, in turn, retards progress. You can't grow when you're overtrained. It also interferes with both the muscle's and the nervous system's ability to recuperate -- ATP and glycogen stores are severely depleted when an agitated metabolic status is present. In such a depleted, weakened state, is it any wonder that injury is common, particularly if the weakened athlete insists on handling big weights? The solution is to cut back to 3-4 sessions per week and keep session length to no more than an hour.

    If you undereat and continue to train hard and heavy, you're likely to get hurt. Again, it relates to your overall health: Beware of heavy training when in a weakened state brought on by severe dieting or restricted eating. Best save the big weights, low reps, forced reps and negatives for nondiet growth periods. While dieting requires reduced poundage, this doesn't mean you can't be intense in your workout -- it just means you need to use lighter weight.

    Negative (eccentric, or lowering) reps are one of the most difficult and dangerous of all weight-training techniques — and very effective at stimulating muscle growth. What makes negatives so risky? The poundage you can handle in negative exercise is likely to be the highest you'll ever lift.

    Normally, we only lift what we're capable of moving concentrically. In negative training, we handle a lot more weight. Most bodybuilders can control approximately 130% of their concentric maximum on the eccentric phase of a lift. Someone using 200 pounds for reps in the bench press, for example, would bench roughly 260 in the negative press. Because of the increased weight with negatives, you need strong, experienced spotters. Exercise extreme caution. If the rep gets away from you, the spotters need to grab the weight immediately.

    If you're distracted, preoccupied or lackadaisical when you work out, you're inviting injury. Watch a champion bodybuilder train and one thing you'll notice is his or her intense level of concentration. This is developed over time, and the athlete systematically develops a preset mental checklist that allows him or her to focus on the task at hand. More concentration equates to more poundage. More poundage equates to more growth. More poundage can lead to getting hurt if you don't pay attention. Train smart.

    3) Inadequate warm-up

    Using too much weight in an exercise is a high-risk proposition ripe with injury potential. What's too much: If you can't control a weight on its downward, loading trajectory; if you can't contain a movement within its biomechanical boundaries; and if you have to jerk or heave a weight in order to lift it. An out-of-control barbell or dumbbell assumes a mind of its own; the weight obeys the laws of gravity and seeks the floor. Anything in its way (or attached to it) is in danger.

    Let's define our terms: A warm-up is usually a high-rep, low-intensity, quick-paced exercise mode used to increase blood flow to the muscles. This quick, light movement raises the temperature of the involved muscles, while also decreasing blood viscosity and promoting flexibility and mobility. How? Everyone knows that a warm muscle with blood coursing through it is more elastic and pliable then a cold, stiff muscle. Riding a stationary bike, jogging, swimming, stair climbing and some high-rep weight training are recommended forms of warm-up.

    Try a 5-10-minute formalized warm-up before stretching. If you choose high-rep weight training, try 25 ultralight, quick reps in the following nonstop sequence: calf raise, squat, leg curl, crunch, pull-down, bench press and curl. Do one set each with no rest between sets. This can be accomplished in fewer than five minutes and warms every major muscle in the body.

    Stretching is different than warming up. Properly performed, a stretch helps relax and elongate a muscle after warm-up and before and after weight training. As a result of warming up and stretching, the muscle is warm, loose and neurologically alert — at its most pliable and injury-resistant. In addition, stretching between sets actually helps build muscle by promoting muscular circulation and increasing the elasticity of the fascia casing surrounding the muscle. Finally, if you perform muscle-specific stretches at the conclusion of your workout, you'll find that this will virtually eliminate next-day soreness.

    If you lift long enough, you'll eventually get to a point where you need to have a spotter(s) for a number of exercises, including the squat and bench press. When you work as hard as you're supposed to, you occasionally miss a rep. Nothing wrong with that — it's a sign that you're working to your limit, which is a good thing if it isn't overdone. Yet when you work this hard, you need competent spotters. A good spotter should conduct himself at all times as though the lifter is on the verge of total failure. Your training partner can also give you a gentle touch that allows you to complete a rep you'd normally miss. A top spotter needs be strong, sensitive and ever alert to the possibility of failure — not looking around or joking with friends.

    Cheating and forced reps are advanced techniques that allow the lifter to train beyond normal. Taken beyond the point of failure, the muscle is literally forced to grow. When incorrectly performed, a cheat or forced rep can push or pull the lifter out of the groove. The weight collapses and a spotter has to rescue the lifter.

    Cheating movements work; real-world data prove this statement. Yet cheating, by definition, is dangerous. Any time you use momentum to artificially goose rep speed, thus allowing the lifter to handle more poundage then he could using strict techniques, you risk injury. To play it safe, use the bare-minimum cheat to complete the rep. On forced reps, make sure your training partner is on your wavelength. Don't go crazy.

    How does overtraining relate to injury? It negatively impacts the body's overall level of strength and conditioning. Overtraining saps energy that, in turn, retards progress. You can't grow when you're overtrained. It also interferes with both the muscle's and the nervous system's ability to recuperate -- ATP and glycogen stores are severely depleted when an agitated metabolic status is present. In such a depleted, weakened state, is it any wonder that injury is common, particularly if the weakened athlete insists on handling big weights? The solution is to cut back to 3-4 sessions per week and keep session length to no more than an hour.

    If you undereat and continue to train hard and heavy, you're likely to get hurt. Again, it relates to your overall health: Beware of heavy training when in a weakened state brought on by severe dieting or restricted eating. Best save the big weights, low reps, forced reps and negatives for nondiet growth periods. While dieting requires reduced poundage, this doesn't mean you can't be intense in your workout -- it just means you need to use lighter weight.

    Negative (eccentric, or lowering) reps are one of the most difficult and dangerous of all weight-training techniques — and very effective at stimulating muscle growth. What makes negatives so risky? The poundage you can handle in negative exercise is likely to be the highest you'll ever lift.

    Normally, we only lift what we're capable of moving concentrically. In negative training, we handle a lot more weight. Most bodybuilders can control approximately 130% of their concentric maximum on the eccentric phase of a lift. Someone using 200 pounds for reps in the bench press, for example, would bench roughly 260 in the negative press. Because of the increased weight with negatives, you need strong, experienced spotters. Exercise extreme caution. If the rep gets away from you, the spotters need to grab the weight immediately.

    If you're distracted, preoccupied or lackadaisical when you work out, you're inviting injury. Watch a champion bodybuilder train and one thing you'll notice is his or her intense level of concentration. This is developed over time, and the athlete systematically develops a preset mental checklist that allows him or her to focus on the task at hand. More concentration equates to more poundage. More poundage equates to more growth. More poundage can lead to getting hurt if you don't pay attention. Train smart.

    4) Not stretching

    Using too much weight in an exercise is a high-risk proposition ripe with injury potential. What's too much: If you can't control a weight on its downward, loading trajectory; if you can't contain a movement within its biomechanical boundaries; and if you have to jerk or heave a weight in order to lift it. An out-of-control barbell or dumbbell assumes a mind of its own; the weight obeys the laws of gravity and seeks the floor. Anything in its way (or attached to it) is in danger.

    Let's define our terms: A warm-up is usually a high-rep, low-intensity, quick-paced exercise mode used to increase blood flow to the muscles. This quick, light movement raises the temperature of the involved muscles, while also decreasing blood viscosity and promoting flexibility and mobility. How? Everyone knows that a warm muscle with blood coursing through it is more elastic and pliable then a cold, stiff muscle. Riding a stationary bike, jogging, swimming, stair climbing and some high-rep weight training are recommended forms of warm-up.

    Try a 5-10-minute formalized warm-up before stretching. If you choose high-rep weight training, try 25 ultralight, quick reps in the following nonstop sequence: calf raise, squat, leg curl, crunch, pull-down, bench press and curl. Do one set each with no rest between sets. This can be accomplished in fewer than five minutes and warms every major muscle in the body.

    Stretching is different than warming up. Properly performed, a stretch helps relax and elongate a muscle after warm-up and before and after weight training. As a result of warming up and stretching, the muscle is warm, loose and neurologically alert — at its most pliable and injury-resistant. In addition, stretching between sets actually helps build muscle by promoting muscular circulation and increasing the elasticity of the fascia casing surrounding the muscle. Finally, if you perform muscle-specific stretches at the conclusion of your workout, you'll find that this will virtually eliminate next-day soreness.

    If you lift long enough, you'll eventually get to a point where you need to have a spotter(s) for a number of exercises, including the squat and bench press. When you work as hard as you're supposed to, you occasionally miss a rep. Nothing wrong with that — it's a sign that you're working to your limit, which is a good thing if it isn't overdone. Yet when you work this hard, you need competent spotters. A good spotter should conduct himself at all times as though the lifter is on the verge of total failure. Your training partner can also give you a gentle touch that allows you to complete a rep you'd normally miss. A top spotter needs be strong, sensitive and ever alert to the possibility of failure — not looking around or joking with friends.

    Cheating and forced reps are advanced techniques that allow the lifter to train beyond normal. Taken beyond the point of failure, the muscle is literally forced to grow. When incorrectly performed, a cheat or forced rep can push or pull the lifter out of the groove. The weight collapses and a spotter has to rescue the lifter.

    Cheating movements work; real-world data prove this statement. Yet cheating, by definition, is dangerous. Any time you use momentum to artificially goose rep speed, thus allowing the lifter to handle more poundage then he could using strict techniques, you risk injury. To play it safe, use the bare-minimum cheat to complete the rep. On forced reps, make sure your training partner is on your wavelength. Don't go crazy.

    How does overtraining relate to injury? It negatively impacts the body's overall level of strength and conditioning. Overtraining saps energy that, in turn, retards progress. You can't grow when you're overtrained. It also interferes with both the muscle's and the nervous system's ability to recuperate -- ATP and glycogen stores are severely depleted when an agitated metabolic status is present. In such a depleted, weakened state, is it any wonder that injury is common, particularly if the weakened athlete insists on handling big weights? The solution is to cut back to 3-4 sessions per week and keep session length to no more than an hour.

    If you undereat and continue to train hard and heavy, you're likely to get hurt. Again, it relates to your overall health: Beware of heavy training when in a weakened state brought on by severe dieting or restricted eating. Best save the big weights, low reps, forced reps and negatives for nondiet growth periods. While dieting requires reduced poundage, this doesn't mean you can't be intense in your workout -- it just means you need to use lighter weight.

    Negative (eccentric, or lowering) reps are one of the most difficult and dangerous of all weight-training techniques — and very effective at stimulating muscle growth. What makes negatives so risky? The poundage you can handle in negative exercise is likely to be the highest you'll ever lift.

    Normally, we only lift what we're capable of moving concentrically. In negative training, we handle a lot more weight. Most bodybuilders can control approximately 130% of their concentric maximum on the eccentric phase of a lift. Someone using 200 pounds for reps in the bench press, for example, would bench roughly 260 in the negative press. Because of the increased weight with negatives, you need strong, experienced spotters. Exercise extreme caution. If the rep gets away from you, the spotters need to grab the weight immediately.

    If you're distracted, preoccupied or lackadaisical when you work out, you're inviting injury. Watch a champion bodybuilder train and one thing you'll notice is his or her intense level of concentration. This is developed over time, and the athlete systematically develops a preset mental checklist that allows him or her to focus on the task at hand. More concentration equates to more poundage. More poundage equates to more growth. More poundage can lead to getting hurt if you don't pay attention. Train smart.

    More @ http://www.muscleandfitness.com/work...injury/slide/5
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  3. #3
    Managing Dir., Rx Muscle Forums Curt James's Avatar
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    Five Most Common Gym Injuries

    FOOT AND ANKLE

    Cause: When trying to explain foot and ankle injuries, Price starts at the top of the body. "People spend their days in front of their computer with rounded shoulders. When your shoulders are rounded and you stand up, your weight falls to the front of your foot," says Price. Take that misplaced center of gravity and put it into running shoes, which naturally tip you forward with a heel higher than the toe, and your feet and ankles start to bear the brunt of any impact.

    Prevention: "You should look for a running shoe that isn't too high in the heel, or try a walking shoe, cross trainer or tennis shoe," suggests Price. By helping spread the impact to the whole foot, you'll prevent problems like plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, anterior compartment syndrome (a compression in the front of the ankle), lateral compression syndrome (a compression at the side of the ankle) and bunions.

    KNEE

    Cause: That damn desk job again, unfortunately. "We don't use our hip muscles during the day. Then we decide to go kickbox or do bootcamp," says Price. The result is injury to the . . . knee? "If our feet aren't stable, due to improper footwear, and our hip muscles aren't strong, the knee gets all the stress," says Price, who says that leg extensions, curls, and presses don't help resolve the problem because they don't strengthen the muscles of the feet and hips.

    Prevention: "A better exercise would be lunges. With a lunge your hip and ankle are bending together, stabilizing and strengthening the knee," says Price. To get even more benefit, do lunges both forwards and backwards, then side to side (also known as "step and squats").

    LOWER BACK

    Cause: Three strikes and your day job is officially in the dog house in terms of your physical health. "If someone is rounded throughout the day in their upper back, and then they go to the gym and do an overhead shoulder lift standing, their upper back cannot extend properly. They straighten and arch upward from their lower back, which has a nervous breakdown [anything from soreness to more permanent injury] because it's getting all the stress," says Price.

    Prevention: Remember to stretch and strengthen your upper back to compensate for all that hunching you do at the office. Price suggests super-setting in straight-armed wall squats in with the rest of your lifting regimen. "Sit against a wall. Flatten your lower back into the wall, by tilting your pelvis under you. Straighten your arms in front of you, and try to raise arms up to your ears, without letting a gap form behind your lower back," says Price. And whenever you can, exercise standing up—really, you've sat enough at the office, right? "Standing helps you engage bigger muscles in your body," says Price.

    SHOULDER

    Cause: If you haven't been convinced to hang up your mouse and pick up a hard hat, this just might do it. That carpal tunnel you're complaining about 9-5 could contribute to a gym injury after-hours. "Your arms have to internally rotate when you type, which puts pressure on the shoulders," says Price. "Then you go to the gym and do chest press, shoulder press, pushups, all also with your arms rotated in," he notes. The outcome? Supraspinatus tendonitis, an overuse injury of the rotator cuff.

    Prevention: You need to externally rotate your arms to balance your shoulders, and a great way to do that is by rowing with cables. "Grab the cables in front of you and pull the arms back, rotating your palms away from you and behind you," says Price.

    NECK

    Cause:
    The other four areas being out of whack lead to a misalignment in your neck, says Price. "If you sit with rounded shoulders, your neck follows your upper back, but then your eyes need to look at the screen, so you arch your neck and you get pain," says Price. As if work wasn't a pain in the neck enough, you get to the gym and that poor posture follows you all the way to the bench press, where the real trouble starts, when you're lying on the bench but your back isn't flush with the pad. "A lack of mobility and extension in your upper back will put stress on your lower back and neck," says Price.

    Prevention: Clearly, when doing the bench press, make sure your lower back and neck are supported properly. Then, avoid putting additional stress on your neck with exercises that cause you to raise your arms over your head, especially if you've just put in a 12-hour day. Finally, strengthen your mid and upper back—and improve your posture—by doing reverse shrugs. "Sit at the lat pull down. Grab the bar in front of you and do straight arm pull downs. Pull down just the shoulder blades—not the arms—and go just slightly in front of you for three to four inches," says Price. You'll feel it in your lower traps—which, once strong, will help you maintain your posture—and health—whether you're at the office or at the gym.

    Full article @ http://www.mensfitness.com/training/...n-gym-injuries
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  4. #4
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    Great initial tips Curt!
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