How to Prevent Injuries During Cardio Workouts

by Johnny Jacks

Injuries during both cardio and bodybuilding exercises are prevalent. To prevent injuries, proper training is essential. All muscle groups, bones, and joints in the body are susceptible to injury if you employ incorrect techniques or intentionally exceed the muscles’ tolerance limits. The severity of the injury is directly proportional to your level of physical activity.

Therefore, it’s crucial not to underestimate even the smallest effects, as they can pose potential risks to your well-being. We will guide you through the most common injuries associated with cardio and bodybuilding, offering insights on how to prevent and treat them effectively.

Mechanism of Injury

The majority of cases stem from impacts. These collisions typically occur when athletes fall to the ground, court, or training floor, while the rest result from athletes colliding with one another or opponents. Injuries can also occur due to movements beyond the permissible range, involving stretching or twisting mechanisms.

This phenomenon is particularly common among newcomers to the gym. In such cases, the most prevalent injuries include muscle and ligament strains, especially in the joints. Overloading the athlete’s body, as seen in weightlifting, can also contribute to these injuries.

Injuries during Cardio and How to Prevent Them

Low Back Pain

Low back pain may result from muscle strain around the spine, disc bulging, or severe disc damage. This condition typically manifests as lower back pain, restricting movement, especially in heavy exercises that rely on lower body strength.

Muscle tension around the spine can contribute to low back pain.

Muscle tension around the spine can contribute to low back pain.

In severe cases, this injury can lead to paralysis of the entire lower extremities. Low back pain can stem from various factors, including incorrect exercise posture, improper sitting positions, or movements affecting the spine, such as squats or deadlifts.

According to studies conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine, spine fractures from weightlifting, while not common, are not unheard of. If you encounter symptoms like persistent lower back pain, discomfort when turning your lower body, or pain so intense that it impedes bending, seeking immediate medical attention for diagnosis is crucial.

Precautions: The stabilization phase of this injury typically lasts around 5-7 days. During this period, it’s essential to completely avoid heavy movements like deadlifts, squats, and twisting exercises.

Full recovery for someone with this injury may take 2 to 4 months. Hence, it’s advisable to minimize engaging in exercises that surpass your strength capacity. Practitioners can incorporate activities to enhance body flexibility, such as yoga. If you experience low back pain, consulting a doctor promptly is highly recommended.

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Knee Pain

Knee pain, commonly referred to as patellar syndrome, arises when there are issues with the connection between the joints in the knee, particularly involving the patellar tendon.

Injuries occur when there is an issue with the connection between the knee joints, and the key factor lies in the patellar tendon.

Injuries occur when there is an issue with the connection between the knee joints, and the key factor lies in the patellar tendon.

Tendonitis often brings about intermittent pain and discomfort for those affected, accompanied by a diminished ability of the knee to withstand force, possibly leading to swelling.

This injury is prevalent in sports that heavily engage the knees, including cycling, athletics, and weightlifting. Subjecting the knee joint to excessive intensity can result in inflammation of the patellar tendon, known technically as patellar tendonitis.

Activities that exert significant pressure on the knee joint, such as weightlifting or impact on the lower leg during weightlifting machine use, can contribute to this condition.

Precautions: Always engage in proper warm-up routines before initiating exercises, especially for runners and cyclists. If inflammation is present, individuals in the early stages of injury should refrain from movements that exert force on the knee and restrict leg extension.

Exercises like squats and weightlifting can exacerbate the injury. Additionally, seeking advice from a doctor and utilizing a knee support may be necessary for proper recovery.

Elbow Pain

Elbow pain is a frequent occurrence in both cardio and bodybuilding activities, often stemming from various causes. One of the most prevalent is lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow or elbow tendonitis.

Experiencing elbow pain is a common occurrence during cardio and bodybuilding activities.

Experiencing elbow pain is a common occurrence during cardio and bodybuilding activities.

This injury typically arises when excessive force is applied to the elbow, leading to immediate tendonitis or the gradual development of elbow inflammation. Movements like pull-ups, dumbbell curls, or even push-ups can contribute to this condition, which can be as severe as, or possibly more serious than, a wrist sprain.

Precautions: Apply ice when there is swelling and pain in the elbow during exercise. Immobilize the hand, avoid exerting force, and seek immediate assistance from the nearest medical center.

Additionally, you can prevent this injury by warming up your elbow before exercise, avoiding overly strenuous exercises for the elbow, and utilizing a brace if necessary.

Hip Pain

Hip pain in athletes, also known as tendinitis, is a prevalent issue often attributed to factors such as excessive exercise, extensive running, muscle tension, and muscle imbalance.

Hip pain results from excessive and intense exercise.

Hip pain results from excessive and intense exercise.

This condition can manifest as tightness and discomfort in the hip, with hip shock serving as a potential indicator. Hip injuries are frequently underestimated and subjective, but severe cases can negatively impact posture and spine health. Therefore, practitioners should remain vigilant regarding hip injuries.

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Precautions: As mentioned, hip pain is often a result of excessive exercise and heavy lifting. To prevent this injury, reduce the intensity of your workouts and engage in appropriate exercises. It’s essential to consult with a doctor for examination and consider using a hip brace if deemed necessary.

Shoulder Strain

Shoulder strain, also known as supraspinatus tendonitis or bursitis, is a soft tissue injury involving the muscles around the shoulder.

This condition can result from the negative effects of sports training, impact injuries, or poor exercise posture. Injuries are more likely to occur in movements that involve excessive force or prolonged exposure to heavy weights. To mitigate this, incorporating muscle-building exercises can be a solution, enhancing endurance during exercise and reducing injury-related damage.

This is a form of soft tissue injury involving the shoulder muscles.

This is a form of soft tissue injury involving the shoulder muscles.

It’s important to note that shoulder strain differs from shoulder dislocation. Movements such as weightlifting, pull-ups, push-ups, and even yoga can contribute to shoulder strain. Injuries can cause soreness in the shoulder muscles, restricting the ability to exert force due to inflammation of the tendons, potentially affecting the neck muscles of the individual with the injury.

Prevention Method: As a precaution, it’s advisable to avoid excessive movements involving the shoulders and shoulder blades. Instead, follow a suitable exercise schedule and practice proper movements. Additionally, individuals experiencing shoulder symptoms such as loss of strength, strain, or difficulty lifting the shoulder should consult a doctor promptly.

Dislocated Ankle

Ankle sprains are a relatively common injury in cardio training, known by various names such as a rolled ankle or ankle sprain.

This injury occurs when sudden force is applied to the tendons and muscle fibers surrounding the ankle, inadvertently causing damage and leading to painful swelling and restricted ankle movement. While not typically a severe injury, it is prone to recurrence, especially in sports like football, running, kickball, or high jump.

Ankle sprains are fairly common injuries in cardio training.

Ankle sprains are fairly common injuries in cardio training.

Precautions: Warm up before training, avoid overly forceful and rapid movements, and limit training on uneven terrain. Seeking medical attention for monitoring and proper bandaging to stabilize the ankle is recommended.

Wrist Pain

Wrist pain, akin to elbow pain, is also referred to as wrist arthritis. Various factors contribute to wrist pain, including rheumatism, intense sports activities, and trauma resulting from collisions.

These causes often involve sprained or stretched ligaments, as well as bursitis, leading to uncomfortable swelling and pain in the wrist. Specific joint conditions like polyarthritis or gout can also contribute to wrist pain. However, our focus here is on injuries arising from cardio and bodybuilding training. Movements involving the wrists, such as pull-ups, weightlifting, push-ups, or planks, can all impact the wrists if performed incorrectly or with excessive weight.

This injury is also referred to as wrist arthritis.

This injury is also referred to as wrist arthritis.

Prevention Method: Practitioners should incorporate wrist rotation warm-ups before each exercise, avoid pushing themselves to perform overly challenging movements, and, if experiencing wrist pain, immediately cease exercising, limit wrist movement, and seek prompt medical attention.

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Leg Pain

The shinbone, also known as the tibia, is susceptible to various causes of discomfort, such as excessive exercise or engaging in new sports that may lead to injuries from collisions or heavy lifting.

Certain sports like running, walking, soccer, and other lower-body activities pose a risk for this injury. While injuries are typically not severe, they can be easily identified. Symptoms include shin pain and tenderness when pressed after a training session, indicating inflammation of the tarsal tubercle due to excessive stretching of the muscle layer around the shinbone.

Precautionary Method: It is advisable to warm up before exercising, and practitioners should focus on whole-body exercises rather than solely concentrating on the lower body, as excessive lower-body exercises can contribute to shin osteoarthritis. Additionally, soaking the feet in warm water may alleviate pain, and seeking immediate medical attention is recommended when the injury becomes serious.

Read more: Cardio exercises for people with knee pain when exercising

Tips to Prevent Injuries During Exercise

Skipping the Warm-Up

Neglecting the warm-up can result in injuries such as ligament strains and muscle tension. Additionally, inadequate warming up can lead to a heightened oxygen demand during exercise, causing fatigue and increasing the risk of injury. It’s crucial to avoid hasty or improperly sequenced warm-ups, especially in cold weather, where careful warming up becomes even more important for muscles and joints.

Avoiding Overtraining

When engaging in weight exercises, having a support person for heavy lifts is essential. Start with lighter exercises before progressing to heavier ones to allow muscles, bones, and joints to gradually adapt. Avoid pushing beyond your limits, listen to your body, and incorporate 2-3 days of rest for major muscle groups after intense training sessions.

Combatting Fatigue

Preventing injuries involves maintaining overall fitness. Adequate sleep is crucial, and maintaining proper nutrition and hydration is equally important during exercise. Incorporate protein-rich foods, vegetable juices, vitamin C, calcium, etc., to ensure the body stays energized.

Finding the Right Workout Frequency

The frequency of bodybuilding exercises should allow for adequate rest and recovery to minimize the risk of injuries. Pay attention to signs of feeling unwell, and don’t hesitate to rest or take a break from workouts when needed. Rigorous bodybuilding without proper rest poses a heightened risk of injury.

Light Exercise on Rest Days

On rest days, consider gentle activities like warm-up jogging or yoga to keep the body active. However, avoid excessive cardio on these days, as it can lead to injuries. Striking the right balance is crucial for injury prevention.

These guidelines aim to help you exercise safely and prevent common cardio and sports injuries. Exercise mindfully and take care of your body to maximize the benefits of your fitness routine.

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