Ironically lifting isn’t dangerous, but if your form and technique isn’t correct it can be. But also not compared to other types of athletic endeavours.
Resistance training is safe. Making lifting unsafe are mistakes caused by lack of knowledge with technique, form and even pumping ego instead of muscles.
Here we figure out what lifting entails so we can be sure to keep lifting safe when using the squat rack, bench press and other weighted equipment.
Lifting is broken down into four major categories:
- Traditional weight training – Bodybuilding.
- The sport of lifting weights – Power-lifting, Olympic lifting.
- Sport performance training – Athletics.
- Cross-training – Classes and Boot camps.
There’s more, but these are the most known and recognisable names you will come across. Here we are going to focus on 4 main body parts that are commonly affected by these sports for injuries and why:
- Shoulder injuries rise with excessive reps, excessive machine use and often bodybuilding style workouts.
- Lower back injuries increase when flexing or extending the lower back under heavy loads.
- Knee injuries are caused when the knees don’t track properly throughout the lifts.
- Upper back and neck injuries occur with poor posture.
The Four Most Common Lifting Injuries:
Cervical Spine Injury:
The cervical spine (upper back and neck) is notably vulnerable to injuries in both the soft tissue and joint structures such as the discs and ligaments due to heavy bracing techniques, poor spinal posture and repeated flexion and extension movements.
Soreness and joint stiffness due to bracing in a neutral cervical position under heavy loading is common when under weight, but moving your head around and putting undue stress on intricate body structures is unnecessary.
Poor spinal posture from your daily life into the gym and not realising you’re putting yourself at risk is a common way of injury due to lack of concentration.
The average person has a forward head posture which causes hyper-extension of the upper segments of the cervical spine and lower segmental flexion. This can cause a neck tweak on your next squat or deadlift if not corrected.
How To Prevent This:
- Adjust your posture.
- Maintain and correct a neutral spine.
- For the cervical spine, the braced and neutral neck position is best for this.
- Drive your chin directly backwards towards your spine and create a slight downward gaze with your eyes.
- This position holds for every movement, no matter if it’s upper body or lower body.
The structure of the knee joint is very immobile by nature, as it is a hinge joint which only moves into flexion and extension.
Less relative motion from the knee when combined with poor movement through other joints that are highly mobile.
Like the many synergistic joints of the ankle complex in addition to the ball and socket hip joint, when undue stress is put over non-contractile tissues like ligaments and cartilage, this aids pressure on the knee.