Monday, May 07, 2007

The Weighty Issue of Ergonomics - Tips for the Gym

Preventing injuries when working-out ...

"We think we are doing what is healthy for our bodies – going to the gym and lifting weights. Strong muscles perform better, have better endurance, and are less prone to fatigue and injury. Weight lifters, however, can be at high risk for developing tendonitis, rotator cuff injuries and peripheral nerve compressions. They may commonly experience elbow, shoulder, back and knee pain.

Last week I had two clients walk into the clinic. Both had valid work-related elbow pain and finger numbness caused by repetitive use of the arms. One is a graphic artist, the other a manual laborer. Both also have that solid, heavy-set, weight-lifter physique. If I had not already guessed that these were body-builders, the look in one’s eyes when I told him he had a grip strength that was functionally weak would have given him away. How could that be? This guy could probably not remember the last time anyone told him he was weak in anything. However, his grip test gave a good indication of how pain is limiting his ability to perform work, leisure and self-care tasks.

In addition to providing standard, work-related ergonomic information to my clients, I find myself providing instruction in exercise programs and ergonomic lifting techniques to prevent further injury and enhance recovery of injuries.

Here are some ergonomic tips to keep you pain-free at the gym.


• When starting or changing a program, train with a fitness expert who knows proper technique.Don’t push through pain. Pain is our body’s warning signal that something is wrong. If you are having pain, train with a health care professional who has experience with injury recovery.

• Warm-up muscles prior to working out.

• Stretch the muscles after working out. Stretching will lengthen the muscles that have tightened during the training and help to eliminate post-exercise soreness.

• When lifting, use proper form. Lift slowly and don’t use momentum to swing a weight. Although you may be able to lift heavier weights when using momentum, you are not isolating the muscle to work it efficiently. You also place yourself at higher risk for strains, sprains and muscle tears."    (Continued via Bella Online)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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Anonymous lifetime fitness said...

I think that there are way to many people out there that give no regard for proper form. It just doesn't make sense to me. Thanks for sharing your tips on how to keep good form/ergonomics!

10:18 AM  

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