Thanks to the CoronaVirus pandemic, everyone is advised to spend as much time away from others as they can. To many, this means no more visits to the park, the cinema, that favorite restaurant, and the gym. As a result, it is easy to lose your physical fitness when all you do is binge-watch movies on Netflix, eat, and sleep.
And when you summon the courage to practice home workouts to help you keep up with your dream fitness level, the last thing you need is to be plagued by injuries.
You may wonder how it is possible to get injured during home workouts. Especially since home workouts aren’t usually as intensive as gym workouts, where there are many kinds of heavy equipment. But the horrible truth is that you can get injured during home workouts as much as you can in the gym. You could even get injured while doing workouts that are as simple as jumping jacks.
So what are the most common home workout injuries and how do you avoid them? That is what this article is about. Read on.
Most Common Injuries And How To Prevent Them
These injuries are no respecter of skill or experience. Even professional workout enthusiasts can suffer these injuries as much as newbies. Only that the professionals would know how best to avoid them.
So without further ado, here are the most common home workout injuries and their preventions:
1. Ankle Injury
Any workout that involves the movement of your feet can lead to an ankle injury. It could even be an exercise that is as simple as jogging. The common cause of ankle injury is when you turn your foot too far inward or roll your joint farther than it is normally possible. In the process, the ligaments on the outside of your ankle suffer a tear or stretch farther than normal.
You could suffer an ankle injury on a treadmill when you lose your concentration and lose your footing as well. Also, jogging on uneven terrain could lead to an ankle injury.
The first prevention of an ankle injury is to try to not lose focus when you are running on the treadmill. Don’t go faster than you can and make sure to use all the safety clips on the treadmill to shut it down when you fall off.
Since jogging on uneven ground could also cause ankle injuries, try to avoid them. Plan your route so you don’t have to pass uneven grounds, especially if you jog at dawn under low light conditions.
Another way to prevent ankle sprain is to participate in exercises that build the muscles in your lower leg. Combine these muscle strengthening exercises with ankle flexibility exercises too.
2. Knee Pain
You may have heard of patellofemoral syndrome. Or does “runner’s knee” sound more familiar to you? When this injury happens, you hear a sickening crunching sound in your knees.
Runner’s knee happens when you place too much stress on your knees. And don’t let the name deceive you, it doesn’t happen to athletes alone. You could sustain this injury while doing intensive home workouts. Causes of knee strains include sudden lifting of heavy stuff or not giving your knees enough rest in between knee stressing exercises. Another cause of this knee injury is when you run downhill, relying on your knees and feet to keep your balance.
Other exercises that could lead to knee pain include squats, lunges, and jumps.
The first thing you should do is to practice thigh strengthening exercises. This way, your thigh muscles can take some stress off your knees during intensive workouts.
Staying away from hard surfaces is another way to prevent runner’s knee. If you have to run on hard surfaces like concrete, keep it short. And if you can’t keep it short, put shoe inserts in your shoes to help reduce the shock that shoots from your feet to your knee when you place a foot down. Also, wearing shoes that have proper support is another way of preventing runner’s knees.
3. Elbow Strain
Elbow strain may not be as popular as other workout injuries, but it is still one of the most common of them all. It comes in different forms, such as tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow. These names may suggest that these injuries only affect the players of those sports, but don’t be fooled. Anyone can have golf or tennis elbow.
Golf elbow refers to the straining of the inner elbow tendons, while tennis elbow is the straining of the outer tendons. Elbow strains happen when you stress your arms and elbows beyond normal.
If you have dumbbells or barbells at home, you could suffer elbow strains from using them to overstress your arms. You could also develop an elbow strain when you don’t allow your arms and elbows enough rest before you engage in other arm-stressing activities.
As it is with other exercises, practicing strengthening exercises that are targeted at the forearms can be helpful. Also, if you have some workout equipment at home, make sure you know the proper techniques of using them. This prevents you from misusing the equipment and earning yourself a strained elbow.
Also, don’t overstress your arms and elbows. Don’t get ahead of yourself when you are doing intensive home workouts. If you find that there is too much strain on your forearms, take it easy on the workout. Use adjustable equipment – Working out with the adjustable dumbbells, will make it easy for you to keep too much stress off your arms.
Ways to prevent other home workout injuries
1. Don’t start your workouts without warming up. Pre-workout warm-ups prepare your body for the exercises that are coming. Examples of warm-up exercises are stretching, jumping jacks, and jump rope.
2. Ease into the workouts. Don’t start with the toughest or the most intensive. Instead, start slowly and gradually ease yourself into the intensive workouts.
3. If you are 55 and above, please consult your doctor before you engage in any exercise regime. You don’t want to stress your body more than you need to. And if you have to workout, take recommendations from professionals.
4. Practice different workouts. This prevents you from overusing and overstressing a particular muscle group when you stick to just one workout.