With more and more people taking an increasingly proactive approach with their health and fitness, it’s important to know how to safely navigate the gym. A reminder of some safety tips and tricks will help the gym rookies and can also help refresh all the gym rats out there. Now let’s learn how to stay safe at the gym!
1. Learn the Equipment
Some pieces of equipment at your gym can seem like no brainers to use, while others feel like they require extensive knowledge on anatomy.
If you find yourself trying to use a particular machine and you’re confused on the set up, not sure if you’re doing it right, or something feels funny while you’re doing it, then it’s time to ask one of the staff members at your club how to use it properly.
The best thing you can do to stay safe at the gym is to educate yourself on the gym itself.
2. Clip Your Free Weights
It seems more often than not that people are deciding to forgo using safety clips on their weights. Seriously, every club has safety clips. The list of pros and cons are pretty simple:
- Keeps the weights from falling off or sliding around and injuring yourself from a plethora of scenarios
- Surefire way to avoid the loud, unwanted attention and commotion of the gym when the weights fall off
- Keeps those around you safe from heavy falling objects
Equip your clips, people!
3. Know Your Limits
It’s human nature to assume that the harder something is to do, the more in shape you’re in if you can do it. This thought process however can lead to injuries. Always proceed with caution.
If you don’t know how much weight to use then start on the low end and work your way up, not the other way around. If you’re not use to explosive movements or exercises requiring high flexibility, then jumping right into isn’t the best idea. Learn to ride the peddle bike before hopping on that 800 horsepower super bike.
4. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Getting in the zone and jamming with a TRX, throwing medicine balls, and tossing kettlebells into the air can cause anyone to get lost in the workout. Make sure that whatever you’re doing, you’ve got adequate room so you don’t infringe on anybody’s personal space.
5. Check All Equipment Before Use
It only takes a few seconds to give a quick glance over and make sure what you’re about to use is in proper working order.
- Is the weight selector pin pushed all the way in?
- Is the seat locked in correctly?
- Are there any frays or damage to any cables or pulleys?
- Does anything look lopsided or bent?
If all of the above checks out, then get to it!
6. Listen to Your Body
If you’re feeling lightheaded, weak, dizzy, short of breath, nauseous, or pain in a part of your body that isn’t normally there/part of your workout, then it’s time to stop and self assess.
Has this happened before? If so, why? Have you had enough to eat? Are you feeling like something is going to snap? Has your water intake been good today?
There’s a multitude of potential issues that could be going on that when you force yourself through them it can make the problem exponentially worse. Remember, you’ve got a lifetime to take care of yourself and there are times when that means reeling back a bit.