If you’re experiencing discomfort during weight exercises, here are four things to consider...
Is your body aligned properly during the exercise? Utilize a mirror to check your form during the entire set. Watch for fatigue, especially towards the end of the set where your muscles begin to grow tired. If you experience discomfort at any point during the movement but feel like your form is correct, consider doing an alternate exercise or ask a coach to lend a perspective.
Are you trying to move more weight than you can manage? Remember, it’s not as important how much weight you’re moving, but how you’re moving the weight. Be mindful of your smaller, weaker muscles and make sure they too are able to keep up with the rest of your exercise. For instance, while a bench press primarily works the chest muscles, there are dozens of other, smaller supporting muscles.
Are you moving too quickly? Using momentum over muscle to move the weight is likely wasting repetitions and giving you a false sense of strength. To maximize muscle engagement, take each rep slow (3-count is a safe bet) to get the most out of each exercise and ensure that your body is able to manage the weight throughout the entire movement.
How is your body moving today? It is possible that your range of motion isn’t what you thought it was or even what it was yesterday. Moving weight beyond what your body is capable of will only put you at risk of injury. Try scaling back your range or doing an alternate exercise if you’re feeling unusual discomfort.
If you’re experiencing pain during weight exercises, here are four types of pain to pay attention to...
Pain with Swelling
If your pain is gradually increasing throughout the exercise, you should likely stop. Take a couple of minutes to allow your mind and muscles to relax. Check your form, weight, tempo, and range, and if pain continues to grow, try a different exercise or consider giving that muscle group a rest.
Any pain that seems to be in just one place should not be ignored. If the pain is consistent with a specific exercise, stop and switch to an alternate exercise. There are hundreds of different ways to work each part of the body, so if one way isn’t working for you today then try another.
If you experience a sharp or stabbing pain, it is likely that something is not functioning properly. If the sharp pain only occurs once and not again, possibly it is nothing to be overly concerned about. But if the sharp pain persists, give your body the rest and speak to a professional.
PAIN WITH SWELLING
Pain associated with swelling is a definite red flag. Inflammation is our body’s first step towards healing, but the redness, heat and swelling (increased blood flow and white blood cells) is your body’s way of protecting you from further injury. Rest, ice, compression and elevation are your next steps with this pain.
Listen to your body...
Most discomfort and pain is experienced in the joints and lower back, so focus on strengthening your weaknesses to avoid injury and ensure longevity. Remember that chronic or long-term injuries take weeks, sometimes months, to develop; therefore it’s important to listen to your body and take each day and each workout as a new and energizing experience.
Pain should not be a “normal” part of your fitness journey. We have a team of qualified and committed trainers that would love the opportunity to walk alongside you and provide the tools you need to live a long and healthy life. As always, speak to a medical professional if you are unsure of persisting pain.