How to be safe during home workouts


By Melanie Radzicki McManus, CNN

When the coronavirus pandemic forced gyms to close their doors last year, many people started training at home. Soon, doctors saw patients arrive with a variety of home gym-inspired injuries: lower back pain, ankle sprains, hamstring pull-ups and more.

It’s easier than you might think to get injured when working out at home, so you should be aware of the potential pitfalls as this tendency may be here to stay.

A Gallup Poll June 2021 has shown that although Americans go out more frequently now, thanks to Covid-19 vaccinations, their trips tend to be in stores and restaurants. They don’t go to the gym. This is not too surprising, because exercising at home is inexpensive, if anything, and offers maximum comfort.

If you’ve been exercising at home or are ready to give it a try, here are several things you can do to make sure you don’t injure yourself.

Important Note: Before starting any new exercise program, consult your doctor. Stop immediately if you experience pain.

Check your workout space for potential dangers

Most people don’t have a home gym, nor the space or money to set up one. This is good, because you can do a lot of exercises with a minimum of space and equipment. But that doesn’t mean you can just start jumping into your living room, basement, or garage.

“Make sure you give yourself more space than you think you need so that you don’t bump into anything while moving, for example rushing over and bumping into a low table,” said Jumha Aburezeq, head coach. at StoopidFit, a lifestyle coaching platform.

Aburezeq said he also advises his clients to place a mirror in the zone during resistance training like weight lifting, as poor form is the leading cause of injury in this category of exercise. And if you are training on a hard surface, have a towel handy to wipe off the sweat that runs off the floor. If you don’t, you can slide.

Robert Herbst, personal trainer and world powerlifting champion, said to check the height of the ceiling if you plan to lift weights above or jump rope, and to clear the area of ​​potential safety hazards such as rugs and wobbly artwork. “The rugs could make someone slide,” he said, “and some footage could fall off the wall from the vibrations if you drop a kettlebell.”

Dress for success (in training)

Training in pajamas can be practical, but always put on quality workout clothes. Wearing comfortable clothes can limit your movement and stress your joints, said Aburezeq, especially when doing active work such as high-intensity interval training online, or a HIIT class.

Make sure to wear sneakers if you choose to wear anything, as it is easy to slip or trip when wearing socks or slippers. But walking barefoot can also work. Experts say there is benefits of walking barefoot, as an increase in the strength, stability and balance of the foot.

And bare feet are better for helping you push certain movements, such as squats. However, you need to get used to not having shoes on and the floor should be free of objects that could cut you or scratch your feet. If you need to lift weights or other objects that could fall on your toes, wear shoes for these exercises.

Spring for a personal trainer

Hiring a personal trainer can seem like an extravaganza – and unnecessary in this new world of online classes and workout videos. But it can be a smart investment. While there is nothing inherently wrong with online courses and videos, the instructor cannot see you and rate your form. Also, sometimes you shouldn’t be listening to what the instructor is saying.

“If you watch a video and they tell you to go harder or get over the discomfort, but your knee is really hurting, it might be better to slow down, rest, change it up. exercise or do something different, ”Kaleen Canevari said. , founder and CEO of Flexia Pilates, which sells Pilates machines and offers online classes.

A qualified fitness professional, in comparison, will work with you to determine your fitness goals and put in place a program that will help you achieve them. The trainer will also show you exactly how to perform certain movements, which is essential to avoid injury.

“Using a personal trainer doesn’t have to be forever, either,” said Greg Maurer, vice president of fitness and education at Workout Anytime, a 24/7 gym concept. . You may only need a few sessions.

Warm up, relax, don’t overdo it

It’s important to warm up before you exercise, calm down afterwards, and not gangbuster trying something new. A good warm-up / cool-down routine depends on what you’re going to be doing.

For active workouts like online classes or HIIT training, Aburezeq recommended dynamic stretching such as leg swings as a warm-up and static stretching (touching your toes) afterward. For strength training, precede your workout with several light repetitions of the exercise you are about to do.

If you are starting a new workout, always start slow and easy and build from there. It’s much better to take a few weeks to reach your intensity or duration goal than to go crazy and force or rip something immediately.

Have a safety valve

Accidents happen. You could cut yourself, hit your head, or pass out. If you’re training alone, make sure your cell phone is handy, said Bill Daniels, a California-based personal trainer.

Go for the outdoors

Isn’t there a great place to exercise in your home? Then head to the backyard. Dozens of studies show the benefits of being in nature. The scenery will probably be nicer too. In addition, light is good for humans.

“Sunlight entering your eyes is an extremely powerful stimulus on your body,” Maurer said. “There’s a lot going on physiologically when you’re outside, whether you realize it or not. “

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Melanie Radzicki McManus is a freelance writer specializing in hiking, travel and fitness.

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