A visit to the gym is supposed to be along your journey to wellness. Instead, you get hurt in the process of sweating it out and end up barely able to move a muscle. What went wrong?
Injuries sustained during workouts aren't uncommon. Whether it's due to a wrong warmup and bad form, or inaccurate intensity and regularity, this bodily setback present a wave of uncertainty to those aiming to achieve their fitness goals. Some of these gym pains can be attributed to ill-timed detection.
"Sumakit lang yung parte ng katawan, na-injure na agad," says Charles "Crunch" Vincent M. Aguila, PTRP, REB, Group Fitness Team Leader and Master Personal Trainer, Fitness First Philippines, Inc.
He shares that a common habit of gymgoers is automatically equating pain to injury, which is counterproductive. For him, it's better to get a diagnosis from a medical practitioner and not doing it yourself with the help of the internet (damn you, Dr. Google!).
And if you want to spare yourself from post-beastmode suffering, Aguila shares these four foolproof steps:
1. Check for pre-existing injuries
"Ask yourself if you have a history of physical conditions, like a bone problem or ankle sprain," Aguila says. "If yes, follow the precautionary measures and movements." You wouldn't want aggravate the situation. This is also the reason why trainers assign corrective exercises to new clients. Also, determine which workouts you should avoid "for the meantime and even for good."
2. Do the right workout
By doing the right workout, Aguila means having the "correct positioning, alignment, and form." For example, when squatting, the knees must not go beyond the toes; instead, the buttocks should be working. A couple of ways to confirm if you're executing a routine properly is training in front of a mirror, or having someone else check your form.
3. Know your limits
Aguila stresses: "If you need to rest for a while, it's okay. Pakinggan mo yung katawan mo." Pushing yourself is not always a good thing, especially when you're subjecting yourself to more pain that will result in long-term issues. "As much as you need to adhere to your program, you also need to focus on your safety," he adds, citing a personal experience about SMART goal-setting.
4. Proper warmup and cooldown
There are two ways to loosen up: dynamic and static stretching. According to Aguila, the latter, which entails prolonged holding of movement, actually makes a person more prone to injury. The former, on the other hand, requires constant motion and is a better option. "Mas kailangang gumalaw pag nagwa-warm up." The same goes during pre-recovery, to prevent blood pooling.