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5 Mistakes in the Gym That Could be Causing Your Pain

The gym is a place to get stronger and better yourself. Lifting weights is actually very safe contrary to what some people may say. While it does carry a lower risk of injury than most sports, there is still some risk involved. But if you avoid making these 5 mistakes, you can mitigate the risk of injury even more!

1. ​Skipping a Warm Up

​A proper warm up will accomplish a few things: loosen up the joints and muscles, get the heart rate up, and prepare the nervous system for whatever movements you will perform for the day.

Your warm up does not need to be 30 minutes, but it should be around 10 minutes of a few specific movements. Choose from some mobility work, stability exercises, and a few lower sets of whatever your first movement is.

A good example of why you should warm up is if you plan to squat and immediately get under the bar with limited hip rotation, then your knees will not be able to get in a good alignment. This could not only put extra stress on certain muscles or joints. It will also make the lift harder and limit your potential to build muscle or strength.

2. Improper Footwear

​In general, we do not want to wear running shoes to lift weights because a lot of them are built to cushion impact. When doing exercises like squats, lunges, and deadlifts it is important to have a stable foot. Shoes with a flatter base and minimal cushioning are better (converse, vans, etc).

Runners can obviously wear running shoes. Crossfitters may want to look into cross training shoes that have a blend of stability and cushioning.

Making sure that your shoes fit properly is also important. This will prevent blisters and allow you to maintain proper function of the foot. Your local running store or shoe store should be able to help you get the best shoe and fit for you.

3. ​No Pain, No Gain Mentality

​Pain is a signal from our body that we need to slow down. Doing too much is one of the biggest factors in overuse injuries sustained when working out. Not taking days off will also be a detriment to your progress because it will result in a buildup of fatigue and decreased performance.

Take active rest days where you do some kind of activity, but not your normal workout. Hiking, biking, swimming, or yoga are all good options.

4. Not Ramping Up

Ramping up the intensity and volume of your training properly is what will help your body adapt and get stronger. Doing too much, too quickly will not allow your muscles to adapt fast enough. This, again, can lead to overuse issues.

A good rule of thumb is to slowly increase one factor (i.e. sets, reps, time) at a time by 10-20% a week. When running, you will want to shoot for the lower end for increasing mileage.

5. ​Ignoring an Injury

​Do not ignore an injury because it will likely only get worse if you keep pushing through it. Making the recovery process much longer than if you were to just take care of it right away.

With that being said, staying active is important. When working with us we always give options for our clients to exercise around the pain without aggravating it.

There you have it, 5 common mistakes that people make in the gym and some tips to fix them. If you are dealing with an injury that is preventing you from making progress, then give us a call at (607) 425-3369 or click the link below to request a Free Discovery Visit. At this visit we will sit down and talk about how long you have been struggling, what does/doesn’t help, and lay out a plan to fix it!


Dr. Brett Dick

PT, DPT, Owner of Limitless Performance Physical Therapy

We Help Active People ​Improve Pain And Performance ​In Their Favorite Sports And Activities.
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