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The Most Common Workout Injuries (And Why You're Experiencing Them)

2nd December 2021

2nd December 2021

By Shivraj Bassi

Ouch! Is that a twinge in your ankle, a pain in your knee and an ache in your elbow? Not again...

Your body is a precious resource, and you don't want to unknowingly injure yourself during your workout. That's why we're here, and that's probably why you're reading this article right now, correct? Thought so.

While a busted knee from a hard workout might feel like it gives your bragging rights, it's not cool to injure yourself because you're working out too hard. Learn how to push your body safely with our guide to finding your limits without hurting yourself.

Why do we sustain common workout injuries? 

Most sports injuries are from overuse and can become chronic. Although it may seem as though injuries are simply part and parcel of working out regularly, this is not true and most are completely preventable. If you’re keen to train but don’t want to have to worry about injury setbacks, check out these five common causes of injury and make sure avoid, avoid, avoid.

Experiencing common workout injuries and want to know how to avoid them? Here we've pulled together some of the most common workout injuries and our tips for injury prevention. 

The most common workout injuries: revealed 

Let's not beat around the bush: here's the list you've been looking for...

  • The dreaded shin splints 
  • Sprained ankle(s)
  • Pulled muscle
  • Wrist sprain 
  • Knee injuries 
  • Shoulder injuries 
  • Tendinitis

So, now you know what you're potentially in for (if you haven't yet sustained one of these common workout injuries), fingers crossed you don't become victim to one of these potentially painful conundrums. If you're in the unfortunate position of already having one of these troublesome injuries, read on... you're going to need to work out why you've sustained this injury to ensure it doesn't happen again. 

1. You're pushing too hard

Don't walk before you can run (in some cases, this is literal advice). It's important to not increase the intensity of your workouts too much too soon, and to make sure that you know your limits.

You should always feel in control. If you’re running, don’t add more than 10% per week in time or distance and if you're weight training, increase weights gradually, at a consistent pace.

2. You're not warming up properly

Slow and steady wins the race. Kicking a workout off at 100% effort will lead to burnout and muscle injury. Start off with some static stretching and build up to gentle movements to keep your muscles flexible and prevent strains. Not only will your body be gradually alerted to the change of state and respond accordingly, but you'll be able to go for much longer.

3. You're wearing the wrong gear

Does the phrase 'all the gear, but no idea' ring a bell at all?

Whilst we're sure you know what you're doing, we want to make one thing clear. Wear good shoes, not just ones that look good. Choose trainers or sports shoes that suit your needs and can give you some support and protection.

If you're not sure, you could always ask in a sports shop for help if you aren’t sure - and don't just buy those trendy shoes that all the influencers are wearing because they match your leggings. Or, if you're into running, you could (and should) check out our nifty guide on Our Five Top Tips To Selecting The Best Running Trainer For You. Always here to help!

4. You're not giving yourself time to recover

Always end your workout with some stretches to warm down, and take rest days to give yourself time to fully recover. Rest allows your muscles to build so you can keep working hard. Your muscles are supposed to be sore after a workout, and it's okay to work out again when they feel like this, but don't overdo it. If something feels wrong, lay off until you have properly recovered. Use a foam roller on sore or tight muscles.

Support your recovery with the right nutrition - get plenty of protein and ensure you're hitting your daily recommendations of vitamins. Check out The Recover Capsules to guarantee that you're getting the minerals and vitamins needed for healthy recovery.

5. You're not mixing it up (enough) 

Vary your training. Incorporate strength training as well as cardio into your workout routine. Adding two resistance sessions per week can help to increase strength and prevent injuries.

Weight training is also a great way to tone up and burn fat. Work out on different surfaces such as grass or sand as well as at the gym, and focus on doing a wide variety of different exercises. This will challenge your muscles while preventing overuse. 

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This Is How Sleep Helps You Recover From Exercise And Injury
We’ve all been there. You go for a hard workout, pushing yourself as far as you can and … by the end your reward is a new personal best and a series of aching muscles (or worse an injury). In these scenarios, it can feel frustrating. After such an exercise high, the first thing you want to do is to beat your record again and yet you’re now stuck with the muscle pain wondering how long it will take to heal. The fact is that regardless of an individual’s workout experience, sport recovery is fundamental to muscle repair. While there are many ways to speed up the recovery process like taking our Innermost Recover Capsules or slowly rebuilding the muscles through light walks, most of us frequently neglect the most important form of recovery which is adequate sleep. While one-night of low sleep alone won’t impact long-term recovery, figures show that 77% of adults are not sleeping the recommended 8 hours a day and as many as 18% sleep less than 6 hours. As we’ve previously written about the benefits that exercise can have on sleep, we feel its only fair to highlight the importance that sleep has on workout recovery. Why is sleep so important in recovery? As frustrating as it can be, it’s nigh-on impossible to quickly recover from muscle pain and continue to smash those PBs without adequate rest. While getting a good amount of sleep can seem like a small afterthought (perhaps even a luxury) when we have to fit it around our busy lives, a decent night’s rest is where the body is best at recovering the soft and neural tissues after an intense workout. But just why is that? How is it your body heals faster during sleep and what is the science behind it?    Increased Blood flow Interestingly, this occurs during Non-Rem Stage 3 of the sleep cycle in which the body is in the deepest part of sleep. During this stage the body priorities the repairing and regrowth of body tissue, as well as building bone and muscle (sounds like a good exercise-recovery plan to me). While it might seem like it should be the opposite, the faster recovery can largely be attributed to the increased blood flow and therefore greater flow of oxygen and nutrients to the damaged muscles during this sleep stage. Recovery Hormones A well-rested sleep - in line with the internal body clock - also plays a part in the production and regulation of several hormones that stimulate muscle recovery. During the deep stages of Non-REM sleep for instance the pituitary gland aids in the repairing of muscles through the release of growth hormones. Evidence also shows that a well-rested night contributes to improved performance and pain sensitivity as the hormone prolactin – released during this process – regulates muscle inflammation and allows the body to heal itself effectively. Faster reflex times Another perhaps overlooked benefit of sleep on an individual’s recovery are the improvements to cognitive response it can bring during the muscle rehabilitation process. A faster reflex time is a good example of this. In truth, during a light workout after injury the last thing you want to do is put unwanted pressure on a muscle. An improved reflex time allows an individual to react faster and with clearer judgment to any potential hazards and avoiding a recovery setback through injury inflammation. Improved Mental Wellbeing We know we’ve mentioned this before, but a key benefit of exercise is the positive impact it can have on mental wellbeing – thanks to our good endorphin friends serotonin and dopamine. That’s just another reason why recovering from any injury can be a tough challenge; you lose the elation of a phenomenon like runners high and suddenly, your mood can begin to dip. Getting into the routine of a good night’s sleep can actually contribute to improved mental clarity and wellness. This is because the brain’s ability to process positive emotional information is improved during REM - which occurs more frequently from longer sleep. How to get the best possible sleep While it’s true that a deep sleep is really important to recovering from injury, all this means nothing if you’re tossing and turning all night. To this end, there are a few changes surrounding sleep conditions that can vastly improve an individual’s quality of sleep. Sleeping Comfort The idea of comfort being tied to good sleep, who would have guessed? But you’d be surprised how often we take comfort for granted, especially during period of muscle fatigue or after an injury. While the Mayo Clinic recommends sleeping on your side to improve airway clearance, you should try and sleep in a position that best accommodates the muscle injury – the last thing anyone wants to do is to strain the muscle further during a night’s sleep. If you’re not sure on the best position to not further aggravate an injury, consider seeking advise from your doctor or a medical professional. It’s also a good idea to try and invest in a quality mattress that offers healthy pressure relief on injury pain points to better optimise sleep recovery.    Sleeping Environment Often times, the environment with which we sleep in can be just as important as the bed itself in getting a good night’s rest and repairing the muscles. We’d recommend trying to create a restful, cool, and dark environment away from any reminders of day stresses. This does also mean not using your phone before going to bed – something we’ve all definitely been guilty of – as the light from the screen can disrupt the production of the hormone melatonin and disrupt the sleep cycle. If you’re finding that you just can’t get good enough sleep, it can be a good idea to plan a sleep schedule each night based around how much rest you think you can get. This can also be tailored to the injury rehabilitation process to ultimately get the most out of sleep recovery. Essentially it’s about balance. Be kind, plan for the days you know you might have impacted sleep and try to avoid any rehabilitation exercises the next day.        How much sleep should I get? The key question here; how much sleep is the right amount to speed up muscle recovery? While it’s recommended that you should aim for at least 7 to 9 hours per night depending on age, the exact time, speed, and extent of muscle repair varies greatly from person to person. For a more definitive answer, we’d recommend contacting your local physiotherapist – or general practitioner – who can give advice more tailored towards your specific injury and rehabilitation requirements.    At the end of all this, we hope this this will help with any current or future muscle injuries you may have. While it might seem strange, the recovery stage of a workout is arguably as important as an individual’s diet and perhaps even the exercise itself. To this end, it can be a good idea to think of the recovery as another stage of the workout process and sleep as the unexplored treasure that will help you smash the next PB.   Interested to learn more about workout recovery? Wondering on the best ways to fuel your next workout? Perhaps you have some amazing and inspired ideas to share? Don’t hesitate to message us over on our Instagram @liveinnermost. Read more
The 4 Steps To Take Immediately After A Workout To Aid Recovery