5 Most Common Home Exercise Injuries
With gyms and recreational spaces closed for the last year and a half, more and more people took to exercising at home. It’s helped many people stay in shape through the pandemic, but it has also led to many exercise-related injuries. Here are the five most common home workout injuries, what causes them, and the solutions!
Back Pain From Improper Lifting
Many fitness buffs like to do their lifting in the privacy and comfort of their own homes. However, injuries can be a problem for self-taught lifters, and techniques learned at home (and away from expert oversight) lead to terrible lifting habits. These, in turn, can become serious long-term injuries like lower back pain. Many people also start lifting with weaker back muscles from the long hours sitting at work – when they get into their home gym, they often go too hard or too fast.
When lifting weights, better form leads to both better results and much lower chances of hurting yourself. If you’re just getting started, work with a knowledgeable weight training specialist familiar with the proper weight training technique. It’s also important to not lift more than you’re capable of – work your way up slowly, and even at home, have a spotter for bench presses.
Pulling Or Tearing The Hamstring
The hamstring is three muscles running along the back of your thigh. The general cause of hamstring injuries is overly tight muscles, but weak or imbalanced leg muscles can also cause these injuries. Often, a new runner will lace up and get out without performing any warm-ups or stretches – they soon find themselves laid up with leg injuries.
The most common cause of this common injury is a lack of flexibility. Keeping all the muscles in your leg resilient can prevent pulling or tearing, especially your hamstrings. Always warm up before starting an exercise, and never skip a leg day.
Did you know that more than 50% of Americans report being affected by heel pain? The most common cause is plantar fasciitis; this is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a fibrous tissue running along the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes. Repetitive motion from exercises like running and added pressure from weight gain can damage the plantar fascia, creating tears and causing pain and inflammation.
Before exercising, it’s important to stretch your calves, but you can even focus on the plantar fascia itself with a foam roller. It’s a small form of fascial stretching that can go a long way!
Runner’s knee is dull pain around the front of the knee caused by cartilage irritation below the kneecap. The most common symptom of runner’s knee is pain behind the kneecap, but you can identify it by a rubbing, grinding, or clicking sound in this area, too.
Like other injuries on this list, it’s crucial to do a light warm-up and some stretching. Focus on the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves; contracting the opposite muscle group at the same time can improve your ability to stretch those muscles. In this instance, contracting your quadriceps while stretching your hamstrings can target these groups completely.
Knee Ligament Injuries
Ligaments are bands of tissue that connect the bones in your body. If you play any sports or do any home exercises that involve jumping or rapidly changing direction, injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) are likely. These ligaments around the knee can be injured through sudden starts and stops, poor conditioning, and harmful contact.
The best way to prevent these injuries is to maintain flexibility and keep your thigh muscles strong with regular stretching and strengthening. Always warm up with light exercises and transition slowly into more intense ones.
As you can see, stretching is an important part of preventing home exercise injuries. Fascial stretching can be your key to staying fit, no matter where you choose to work out!