How To Avoid Injury While Working Out

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Tips To Avoid Rotator Cuff, Lower Back, And ACL Injuries

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, we answer a viewer question who asked for our best tips on how to avoid injury while working out.

This was a question from #AskLiveLeanTV Ep. 009.

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To help answer this question we are, once again, joined by special guest Jeremy Reid, from Jeremy Reid Fitness.

Over the last 9-10 years, we’ve been getting a lot of questions on pain and injuries.

These questions mainly have to do with rotator cuff injuries, ACL tears and other knee injuries, as well as lower back pain.

So in this post, we’ll be discussing why these injuries are happening during your training and workouts, as well as how to reduce the risk of those injuries.

Plus, we’ll be sharing some exercises to help recover from these injuries.

Let’s get into it.

Here’s today’s viewer question:

@danielleger1 on Snapchat asks: Hi Brad and Jessica. What are the most common injuries in weight lifting that can be easily avoided? What are your best tips on how to avoid injury while working out?

Since I’ve been getting to know Daniel a little bit on Snapchat, if I remember correctly, he’s currently in his 40s.

I can relate, as I’m also getting up there in age.

One thing that I’ve noticed as I age is that I have to warm up a lot more than I did when I was in my early 20s.

Stop Neglecting Your Warm Up

So one of the main reasons why people, who are getting older, are getting hurt is because they’re not properly warming up.

They’re just hitting the weights a little bit too heavy, too early on, without warming up their body, joints, and muscles.

Therefore, it’s so important to get in a good warm up first before hitting your working out hard.

How To Avoid Rotator Cuff Injuries While Working Out

How To Avoid Injury While Working Out

When I think of workout related injuries, one of the first injuries that comes to mind is a rotator cuff tear.

A lot of people really mess up their rotator cuffs by completing heavy pulling and pushing movements with improper form.

These poorly performed exercises include, but are not limited to:

This is not to say these exercises are bad, in fact, when performed correctly, they are really beneficial to building a strong body.

However, when these exercises are performed incorrectly, they can really do damage to your rotator cuffs.

We see people completing these exercises with improper form all the time, which is why rotator cuff injuries are so common.

Rotator cuff injuries are especially common for guys, because they often try to lift too heavy, based on their current strength levels.

Instead of initiating with the targeted muscle, they’ll just muscle it out by using sloopy form to finish the set.

This combination of too much weight and poor form is what can cause the rotator cuff injury.

5 Rotator Cuff Strengthening Exercises

Besides lifting with proper form, and using a proper amount of weight, one of the ways to decrease rotator cuff injuries is to strengthen them.

#1. Standing Dumbbell Cuban Press

The standing dumbbell cuban press is a great exercise to strengthen the muscles in your, often neglected, rotator cuffs.

By strengthening your rotator cuffs, you’ll reduce the risk of injury and improve your strength in pressing exercises.

Here’s a step-by-step exercise demonstration on how to do a standing dumbbell cuban press.

#2. Side Lying One Arm Dumbbell External Rotation

The side lying one arm dumbbell external rotation is another great rotator cuff exercise that improves shoulder joint mobility and strength.

Here’s a step-by-step exercise demonstration on how to do a side lying one arm dumbbell external rotation.

#3. Seated One Arm Dumbbell External Rotation

The seated one arm dumbbell external rotation is a great rotator cuff exercise that improves shoulder joint mobility and strength.

Here’s a step-by-step exercise demonstration on how to do a seated one arm dumbbell external rotation.

#4. Cable Face Pull With External Rotation

The cable face pull with external rotation is a fantastic exercise to, not only target the upper back muscles, but also strengthen your rotator cuff muscles, which is key for healthier shoulders.

Here’s a step-by-step exercise demonstration on how to do a standing cable face pull with external rotation.

#5. Diagonal Dumbbell Shoulder PNF Exercise

The diagonal dumbbell shoulder pnf exercise is an active stretching protocol used to prevent overuse injuries and improve shoulder biomechanics by moving the shoulder and the rotator cuff in different planes of movement.

Here’s a step-by-step exercise demonstration on how to do a diagonal dumbbell shoulder PNF exercise.

How To Avoid ACL And Knee Injuries While Working Out

Now let’s talk about why many people have ACL injuries with their workouts, and how to improve it.

The most common cause of ACL tears, which is so dangerous, is when your knees are buckling inwards towards each other.

Buckling of the knees is super common, especially for female athletes.

This is because women have a larger q angle, due to their hips being naturally wider than where their knees are.

How To Avoid Injury While Working Out

Therefore, many females knees tend to angle that way naturally.

Also, when people have weak outer thigh and glute muscles, your knees can cave in too much.

This is really bad for your knees, especially when you’re landing from a jump or squatting with heavy weights.

In these cases, you definitely do not want your knees buckling in towards each other.

It’s much better and safer for you to focus on pushing your knees outward when you’re doing squats, lunges, step ups, and any other knee bending exercise.

However, this doesn’t mean you want to excessively push your knees outward.

Although straight is ideal, you can try turning your toes slightly outward and track your knees over your toes.

This means you’ll point your knees in the same direction that your toes are.

That’s going to be much safer for your knees and help you balance out the strength of your inner and outer thighs.

Not only will this little form change help protect your knees from future injuries, it will also make your knees feel better, and help you develop a more balanced shape with your lower body.

How To Avoid Lower Back Injuries While Working Out

We’ve also seen a lot of lower back issues while working out.

This is usually due to improper form during certain exercises such as the barbell deadlift, the dumbbell over row, or most other bent over rowing movements.

With these exercises, a lot of people will incorrectly round their back, which puts a lot of strain on the lower back.

Regardless of which exercises you’re performing, it’s totally critical to ensure you are lifting with proper form.

Don’t Waste Your Time In The Gym Using Bad Form

Lifting with proper form is not just important for safety.

It’s also important for you to actually make gains, by working the targeted muscle.

Not only can bad lifting form cause injuries, it also can cause disappoint in terms of not making any gains.

The only thing worse than not making gains with your workouts is not making gains and getting injured.

So lift safely, but lift to get your gains.

Find The Best Workout Program For You

In our workout programs, we include proper warm-ups and exercise video demonstrations that teach you how to do every exercise properly, with good form.

To find the best program for you, based on your fitness level, your current goals, and access to equipment, go take our Live Lean Body Quiz here.

Also, go check out the full video post on how to reduce knee pain, here.

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Question For You:

  • Have you suffered from any workout related injuries?
  • If so, what were they?

Be sure to share your answers in the comment section below.

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