How do you avoid injuries? Those of you who have been training hard at the gym have possibly sustained some kind of minor injury - a sprain, spasm or sore muscle.

Weight training offers a multitude of health benefits as long as it is done in the right manner. It's not that you can't train hard and can only use one kg dumbbells - it only calls for applying your mind and following the right techniques.

Michael Yessis, well-known kinesiologist, has some simple suggestions to keep injuries at bay.

Assume that a person injures his shoulder muscle while performing the bench press. The trainee has to recollect where the barbell 'stood' at the moment of injury: was it up high or close to the chest?

Was he holding the barbell with an extremely wide grip; were his feet firmly placed on the ground; did he arch his lower back to an unnatural extent?

Yessis says that correcting such errors will prevent re-injury. Were the muscles well warmed-up before a heavy lift; were the trainees psychologically prepared for hard training; were they attempting to mindlessly 'lift' a weight that was too heavy for their current strength levels; were they trying to do countless number of repetitions; were the target muscles and whole body still sore from the previous workout?

Experts say that in nine out of 10 cases, one of these reasons alone can lead to injury.

Not eating the right kind of food, insufficient rest and trying to create records in lifting super-heavy weights at every workout can also inflict damage. Such training will not make you great at any sport or help achieve the look you desire. It will only slow down the body's recovery rate and degrade your current looks. Your immune system will also take a beating.

Train under proper guidance and use tailor-made training programmes. Pay attention to warm-ups and do not stretch your muscles when they are cool.

Those of you who intend to sculpt your bodies may increase the weights in small increments, about five pounds (approximately two kg) every third or fourth workout.

Once the target muscle is strong enough to handle that weight, you may increase the load by another two to five pounds.

Your body will progressively get stronger and athletic, yet remain healthy.

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