Understanding the causes of weight lifting injuries
Whether you are keen to boost your fitness, lift heavier weights, play competitively, sprint like a pro, or simply increase your general wellbeing, there are many good reasons to take part in sports. While the benefits of any form of exercise should outweigh the risks, at some point most people will experience an injury of some kind, ranging from minor strains and sprains to more serious injuries, such as dislocations and fractures. It is therefore crucial that you fully understand what are the main causes of weight lifting injuries.
The causes of weight lifting injuries are many and varied. It is important to understand why sports injuries occur. Items such as technique failure, faulty sports equipment, poor physical fitness, inadequate warm-up and psychological factors can all act as co-facors.
Three main causes of injuries
Broadly speaking there are three main causes, or reasons why weight lifting (or sport injuries in general) injuries occur:
- Accidents include things like stepping into a pothole and spraining an ankle, tripping over and falling onto the shoulder or elbow, or being struck by sporting equipment. While there is little that can be done to prevent some accidents it is important to minimize these as much as possible.
- Overload. Overload is common with most sports and occurs when the structures within the body become fatigued and overworked. The structures then lose their ability to adequately perform their required task, which results in excessive strain (or overload) on other parts of the body. Most overload symptoms can be quickly reversed with adequate rest and relaxation.
- Biomechanical error. Biomechanical errors are commonly responsible for many chronic injuries and occur when the structures within the body are not functioning as they should. A common biomechanical error is muscle imbalance. This is where one muscle, or group of muscles, is either stronger or more flexible than its opposing muscles. This can occur on the left and right sides of the body the the front and back of the body.
Most common causes of weight lifting injuries
Here are the main causes of injuries in weight training in more details.
#1 Failure to warm up, resulting in your muscles being less responsive and prone to strain.
#2 Overtraining, which increases the risk of chronic injury by putting continuous pressure on your body.
#3 Beginners using advanced trening techniques. Advanced training techniques will push you to the limits and for that reason only advanced weightlifters should use those techniques and training programs. Novice weightlifters should steer well clear of such a techniques as they have the potential to overload your target muscles, resulting rapidly in over training and enhancing the likelihood of injury.
#4 Excessive loading on the body, which applies forces to your tissues for which they are unprepared.
#5 Poor exercise technique, leading to overloading on body tissues-especially if carried out repeatedly. Furthermore, very fast repetitions, especially during the negative phase, place excessive stress on musculoskeletal system.
#6 Not taking safety precautions, or ignoring the rules of a sporting activity, increasing the risk of an accident.
#7 An accident, often the result of an impact or collision, and usually occuring suddenly.
#8 Inappropriate equipment, so your body may not be adequately supported or protected from shock.
#9 Recurring injury, which can weaken your body and make it more susceptible to other injuries.
#10 Genetic factors, which are intrinsic (belonging to you) and influence the shape and structure of your joints. Other intrinsic factors such as age, gender, somatotype, local anatomy and biomechanics, physical symmetry, and joint integrity also play important role.
#11 Not taking adequate rest between workouts will result in overuse.
#12 Muscle weakness or imbalance, which can lead to a loss of strength in your body.
#13 Lack of flexibility, which will decrease your range of motion and limit some of your body’s capabilities.
#14 Joint laxity (a condition which, if you have it, you should already be aware of), which can make it difficult for you to control and stabilize your joints.
#15 Ignoring sharp pain in tendons, muscles, ligaments, joints, and bones during the workout or after the workout. The earlier it is addressed, the faster the recovery.
Closing thoughts: Understanding the causes of injuries in weight lifting
There are a number of common risk factors that can lead to weight lifting injuries, ranging from the continual repetition of an action using a poor technique to wearing inappropriate footwear. While accidents do happen, there are numerous ways that you can reduce your risk of sustaining an injury.
Some factors will clearly affect athletes differently, and certain elements are more important in one sport than another. However in general, the more risk factors an athlete shows, the more likely he or she is to be injured. Consequently, your main goal should be to reduce these risk factors to a minimum.
If you see a guy next to you lifting a heavier weight than you, don’t assume you should be lifting that amount of weight too. Showing off to the people around you in the gym can lead to weight lifting injuries, fast. So don’t worry about what people think and just go on with your business.