Top reasons why bodybuilders get injured
Injury is a bodybuilder’s worst nightmare. It forces them to stay away from their obsession and takes away valuable time off their prime that could be spent preparing for competitions or getting into the best shape of their lives. A study conducted on injury rates of bodybuilders revealed an injury rate of 0.1-0.7 injuries per year, with the most common injury being muscle sprains. While there are countless reasons why bodybuilders can get injured, here are the most common ones.
Going hard, every day, all year can be counterproductive and can result in fatigue, muscle pain, and other implications. It is for these reasons professional athletes vary their workload and occasionally scale back their training intensity. Not only does this gives their bodies ample time to recover, but it also lets their bodies profit from their hard work. While some bodybuilders prefer taking days off to recover, some resort to light sessions to maintain their momentum. The best course of action is to listen to your body and hold back when called for. Even though there is no rule of thumb, most experts suggest to take a break every third week of the training cycle to maximize gains and avoid the risk of injury.
Failure to warm-up
Warming up before working sets is not only beneficial but also imperative for a productive workout session. Warm-ups increase blood flow to the muscles and prepare the body for heavier weights. Most professionals prefer cardio exercises that warm up the entire body. However, if cardio is not your cup of tea, light sets can be equally effective in warming up muscles for heavier sets and safeguard you from injury.
Injury is only one of the by-products of poor technique. Other side-effects include reduced muscle growth, muscle imbalance, and other severe conditions such as tendinitis. The most common victims of wrong technique are beginners. For avoiding injuries, it is essential to learn from qualified instructors or professional coaches. Experienced coaches have a trained eye for every bodybuilder’s strengths and weaknesses and can save them from all sorts of injuries.
Spotting is simply the act of supporting another person for a particular exercise such as weighted squats. Approximately 7% of all bodybuilding injuries occur due to incorrect spotting. While the number may appear insignificant, spotting injuries are one of the most dangerous forms of injuries. They are notorious for putting an end to bodybuilding careers. The best way around it is to choose spotters who are strong enough to control the weights in case of a mishap. Also, a small strategy session before the exercise goes a long way in mitigating the risk of injury.
Overloading is the most common cause of muscle strains. When muscle fibers cannot cope up with the increasing demands, they break and result in injury. Bodybuilders get exposed to strains when there is a sudden increase in weights, intensity, or overall workload. Signs of muscle strains include swelling, bruising, and fatigue in muscles. The best practice is to gradually increase your training intensity, also known as progressive overload.
Even though your average sneakers can help you rack up mile after mile, they might not be your best companion in your weight-lifting journey. Most sneakers have a flat-foot design and are not suitable for exercises that involve heavy weights. In contrast, bodybuilding shoes have a raised heel which helps in maintaining balance. Such shoes also assist in performing a lower squat. In addition, bodybuilding shoes also shield bodybuilders from injuries that can inflict excruciating pain, such as ankle rolls.
Using momentum to lift
One of the mistakes that even some experienced bodybuilders make is using momentum to lift more. While it might be an excellent way to push numbers, it elevates the risk of injury significantly. Exercises like hammer curls and concentrated curls put strong force on joints. Using momentum in such exercises creates a jerk which sows seeds for long-term injuries.
Conclusively there are innumerable reasons why bodybuilders can get injured. However, training smartly can reduce the risk to the bare minimum level. Incorporating injury-preventative measures such as warm-up and stretching in your workout can save you from ligament tears, muscle strains, and other grave injuries.