By following these guidelines, you can minimize the chance of injury during your strength training workouts. Of course the best way to minimize your chance of injury is to hire a certified personal trainer if you are unsure of what you are doing.
Warm up: Before you perform any strength training exercises you should do 5-10 minutes of light cardio or calisthenics. Also the muscle groups you are working out should be warmed up before every strength training session with light sets of your working exercises.
Maintain proper posture: Incorrect posture can easily lead to injuries Make sure your spine is aligned properly and your joints are not put into any unnatural positions.
Listen to your body: Pain is your body’s way of telling you something you are doing is harmful. There is a big difference between a slow building burn in the muscles and a sharp pain. If it’s a sharp pain, stop doing it. There is always something else you can do.
Stretch: After your hard workout, spend 5-10 minutes gently stretching out your entire body. Stretching helps promote flexibility and decreases post workout soreness.
Keep your sets around 10-12 reps: Unless you are an advanced trainee, you should not be going so heavy that you cannot perform at least 10 reps with good form. Going too heavy, then losing proper form to lift the weight anyway is a great way to get injured.
Follow a varied and balanced routine: Incorporate strength training, cardiovascular training, and stretching for flexibility into your workout routine. Also try to cross train with different activities like hiking or swimming to work different muscles in ways they are not accustomed. Make sure to work all of the major muscle groups so you don’t create any major muscle imbalances.
Stay hydrated during your workout: When a muscle becomes dehydrated, it is more prone to strain and injury. Avoid sugary drinks and just stick with water during your workout.
There is never a good time for an injury. They can be acute and happen all at once, like twisting your ankle. Or they can be chronic, like a sore knee that gets progressively worse over time. By taking a few preventative measures every time you exercise, you can maintain an injury free body that works for you, not against you.