Workout pains are not fun. Whether it’s a niggle or a full-blown pain, everyone has nursed themselves through the end of a workout while repeating “no pain, no gain” in their heads – right? But it seems that old expression doesn’t hold true. Studies have shown that by ignoring some pains, we could cause long-term damage to our bodies. So how do you know which workout pains to push through, and which to listen too?
It’s not unusual to hear your wrists pop if you are working your biceps – but it’s a definite sign that you should stop! The popping sound (and related workout pains) occur when you rotate your wrist – meaning that your wrist is holding the weight, rather than your bicep. If you keep going, you could sprain your wrist, or tear a bicep tendon. Ouch!
A split-second knee freeze or isolated pain in the tailbone are both big red lights! Commonly felt when cycling, these are warnings that you are at risk of breaking or bruising your tailbone, or pulling your hamstring. Tailbone pain can be avoided by cycling standing up, or using padded cycling shorts or a specially designed seat. Also make sure that your seat is the correct height, and concentrate on keeping your knees in position to prevent future pain.
I’m guilty of running through these…a bit of pain never hurt anyone, right? But it’s a bad idea to ignore the warning signs, as shooting pains in the glutes, quads or lower back can signify tilted kneecaps or an irritated lumbar spine disc. And yes, that is exactly as painful as it sounds! Let yourself heal and then slowly attempt squats, ensuring you use your glute muscles and resist pressure across the knee.
Have you ever had to try and style an outfit whilst wearing a thick, uncomfortable and downright ugly neck brace? It’s not an experience I want to repeat! Avoid it by stopping if you start to feel neck and shoulder pain whilst doing triceps extensions. The pain is typically caused by looking down, which increases force on the cervical spine, and will disappear when you look straight and level.
Okay, so tennis elbow might be more well known, but you can still cause some serious pain with dumbbells. The most common cause of workout pains in the elbow, neck and back is the dumbbell fly. If the weight drops too low, your lower back and elbow have to support it, and this can injure the pec. It hurts, so make sure you are using the right weights!
Doing yoga shouldn’t hurt – it’s all about stretching, and making the most of your body. So if you start to feel a pinching, especially behind your knee, or any pains – stop. The downward dog is a common cause of muscle injuries, and can put you out of action for a while. Get a yoga teacher to help you form the position properly once you’ve recovered, to make sure you are stretching and not tearing!
Old school toys are taking over the fitness world, with trampolines and jumping ropes providing fun alternatives to running and cycling. But if you feel out of control, stop. While these activities can be fun, you need to do them right! Controlled movements are essential to benefit from jumping, and you need to make sure your knees are bent to prevent injury. Jumping ropes can also hurt your ankles, if you land with too much force.
Workout pains aren’t fun for a reason – so rather than living by the “no pain, no gain” motto, work out for as long as you can without feeling any pain. I guarantee you’ll feel better for it, and your body will be fitter too. Do you have a way to combat workout pains? I’d love to hear them!
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