Everyone wants to get stronger, but it’s important that as we push ourselves and progress in our training, we are doing everything in our power to avoid injury. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re not pushing too hard and opening yourself up to the possibility of injury.
up: This is not anything you haven’t heard hundreds
of times before, but it is worth repeating because people still tend to skip
warm-ups and want to get straight into lifting something.
Take the time to warm up and build up to heavier weights slowly. Not only does it protect you from injury, but it makes your lifting technique better too, so you’re going to perform better on your harder sets.
Your training intensity should wave up and down.
For the first couple of years you can continue to push hard every session, and
you will keep moving forwards. Once you’re at an intermediate level, your body
cannot handle more, more, more all the time.
You need to back off periodically and allow time to recover. Try taking a ‘de-load week’ once every month where you use lighter weights and less volume, to allow the body to recover.
assistant work: You probably want to get stronger
on big exercises that use big muscle groups, but you cannot afford to neglect
the smaller structures that support your body during the bigger movements.
If you’re not strengthening the rotator cuff, hip stabilisers, abs, and lower back, you’re likely going to create a strength imbalance and eventually get injured.
Make sure you have assistance work in your program where you train the small, supporting muscle groups.
mobility work: Like warm ups, mobility is often
overlooked or skipped because it takes time and can seem boring. That’s a
mistake that will cost you.
Spend time each week ensuring you have good range of motion, stability, and function at each joint to ensure you can train safely.
Don’t max out too often: When you want to get stronger the temptation is to lift heavy all the time. When you max out you are most likely to get injured, and it is also not the best way to get stronger. Maxing out displays your strength, but it is not very good at building your strength. Sub-maximal lifting and higher volume is the best way to build strength, and the added bonus is that it is much safer.