5 Ways To Make Strength Training Less Dangerous For Joints

Joint pain can seriously slow down your progress in power sports. Sports doctor's advice will help you train properly with large weights without pain and injury.

Heavy strength training is clearly not designed to improve the body. Sooner or later, you will feel that your shoulders, knees, elbows, or hips are hurting. Some people don't pay attention and continue to train until something hurts really hard. It will most likely be your first meeting with diseases such as tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, and similar.

Instead of suffering discomfort or taking painkillers, train so that the pain does not occur. Even if you are not in pain right now, these recommendations will help to avoid injuries, treatment, and forced breaks in the future.

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1. If it hurts, don't look for an alternative exercise

Any sports physician will tell you that if you experience pain during exercise, slow down. However, this does not mean that you even need to stop exercising this kind.

For example, people with shoulder problems often experience pain while performing a barbell press. In this exercise, the shoulders are in the same position, so you have no way to make a press without painful sensations.

The lying press can exacerbate the pain in the shoulders, so instead, try isolated exercises, such as "Butterfly" or hand-holding on a crossover. These exercises use pectoral muscles but slightly change the shoulders' movement, which helps avoid unpleasant feelings.

5 Ways To Make Strength Training Less Dangerous For Joints
Image source: Reproduction/Internet

There are other options. "When hitting the barbell, attempt to use the reverse instead of a straight grip," advises Guillermo Escalante, Ph.D. owner of the SportsPros Physiotherapy Centre in Claremont. "Dumpers are also beneficial because they allow for greater mobility. It is necessary to shift the diverting and leading muscles of the shoulder only a few degrees, and the pain will disappear."

Moreover, a new study has shown that due to dumbbells' instability, exercises with them are more burdened with muscles. Because you have to balance dumbbells using your muscles' strength, you'll need less weight for a good load than you would with a barbell.

2. Make smooth, controlled movements. Avoid jerks

Any sharp and jerky movement leads to a greater load than the same movement in the classical performance (of course, in addition to explosive movements from weightlifting). Also, nothing overloads an inflamed joint more than taking a lot of weight with bad technique.

If you rise sharply from the bottom point during squats, push the neck with your hips, lifting the barbell on the biceps, or pull the projectile during the traction, joints, ligaments and tendons experience stressful loads.

Guillermo Escalante

Guillermo Escalante recommends reducing the load and working on the technique, performing movements smoothly, concentrating on them.

3. Use free weights instead of exercisers

The simulators have their advantages. For example, they will be useful for beginners who do not balance well during weight exercises.

However, the simulators make you move strictly and do not allow the joints to work freely. Try to replace the simulators with exercises with a barbell, dumbbells, or cables block simulator.

4. Warm up before exercise

Tips to warm up before training sound like a reminder to brush your teeth every day. But this is very important, especially if you are no longer young. Warm-up to lift more weight and relaxes muscles and connective tissues provide flexibility and allow you to make more movements.

"Warming up dilates blood vessels, allowing blood to flow to the muscles that you use in exercise," Escalante says. - Do a 5-10-minute cardio break to increase your heart rate and light warm-up exercises, but don't overload your muscles. The warm-up should be dynamic. Leave static exercises to a hitch."

Also read: 22 Common Gym Newbie Mistakes

5. It is better to increase stress time than to train before giving up

If you constantly train to failure (the inability of muscles to make contractions) even with relatively light weights, you will earn problems with joints. At least part of the training should not be done until the complete failure of muscles.

Guillermo Escalante

The weight itself is not as harmful to joints as breaking the mechanics of movement during lifting. Unfortunately, training is often accompanied by deviations from the correct technique. A recent study found that muscle hypertrophy is more dependent on the time they spend in tension rather than on a small number of repetitions with the maximum possible weight. It is better to do 12 slow repetitions with a lighter weight, during which the muscles will constantly be in tension, than 6 fast repetitions with the highest weight.

Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff

Sources: Life hacker