Gyms are there to help people live healthier lives, but they have the potential to do as much harm as good if you?re not careful.
Heavy weights can be dangerous if not handled properly. A slip or even just incorrect technique can result in sprains, muscle injuries or even acquired brain injuries if weights were to impact with the skull.
Here are some tips on how to stay safe at the gym.
Finding someone to spot you is a good idea for any weightlifter, but especially if you?re new to weights or looking to increase your load. To make gains, you want to be pushing yourself and it?s when you?re pushing yourself that accidents are most likely to happen.
Having someone there to spot you allows you to lift more than would normally be considered safe, so you need someone who is used to lifting and knows what they?re doing. They need to recognize when you might be in trouble and know when to intervene.
While spotting usually relies on the placebo effect, a spotter might provide a little assistance with each lift. You need to be sure of how much assistance your spotter is providing you with before you consider yourself comfortable with a new load.
Poor lifting techniques are probably the most common problem in the gym. It can go from ‘cheating’, where poor form is going to mean fewer gains, up to serious injury, especially if you are lifting heavy loads. Slipups can lead to anything from muscle tweaks to full tears and even head injuries.
The best way to avoid poor form and technique is to seek advice from an experienced weightlifter or, better yet, a professional. You should also make sure you have a full and professional induction to your gym so you know how to use all equipment properly and safely.
Tidying away and cleaning gym equipment
Leaving gym equipment out is a sure fire way of injuring not only you, but potentially your fellow gym members as well. This is why it?s so important to ensure areas are tidy and safe, both while you are using them and after you?ve left. It?s so easy to hook your foot under dumbbells that they almost seem like they were designed with tripping in mind.
The worst possible thing you could do is to step into a discarded dumbbell while attempting a lift. Falling under a bar or set of dumbbells can lead to any number of injuries. You should also clean sweat and moisture off equipment to prevent slips, which can be just as dangerous. Of course, this doesn?t just fall on you. Gyms should be run with safety in mind and staff should make sure that the gym area is as clear as possible.
It?s only natural that you want to push yourself and get the best workout possible from your gym sessions, but you don?t want to overexert yourself. A sudden rush of blood to the head after a heavy lift can cause you to feel faint or even pass out in extreme cases. The last thing you want to do is collapse in the gym where you?re surrounded by hard metal racks and equipment, not to mention the bar you?re probably holding over your head.