If you work out frequently

…Ask a physical therapist about safe exercises for your athletic training
…Avoid workout mistakes like skipping warmups, working out too hard, and using repetitive routines
…Only work out when you are 100% well

Working out is a vital part of training for your sport, but only if you do it correctly. Excessive exercise or bad habits can cause serious injury and incapacitate you.

No one understands the consequences of poor athletic training better than physical therapists. They see the kinds of pains and injuries athletes suffer all the time. They also know how best to prevent those kinds of injuries.

To get the most out of your workout and prevent injury, consult with a sports physical therapist about what exercises will best complement your sport and how to perform them correctly. In the meantime, here are seven mistakes athletes often make at the gym and why you should avoid them.

1 – Skipping a Proper Warmup

Sometimes it’s tempting to skip a pre-workout warmup, but it will cost you. Warming up is vital to safe exercise. It loosens joints, increases your heart rate, and pumps more blood to your muscles. Once your muscles and joints are warm and loose, they will work better for you and can endure the stress of exercise better, reducing strains and injuries.

2 – Wearing Improper Footwear

Wearing the wrong shoes causes more than blisters. Shoes support your feet, legs, hips, and back and should absorb the impact of your steps and provide a cushion for heavy landings. Otherwise, you could sustain injuries in any of these areas of your body.

Old or poor-fitting shoes won’t provide the support you need. Your local running or sports store can help you decide when to retire old shoes and which new shoes are most suitable for your workouts.

3 – Dialing Up the Intensity Too Far

Proper exercise requires an increase in speed, weight, mileage, etc. over time for progress. However, doing too much too fast is setting yourself up for injury.

Only increase one factor at a time and never more than 20%. Incremental adjustments to the intensity of your workouts keep them challenging but safe. You’re not going to get better by hurting yourself.

4 – Neglecting Muscle Groups

When you’re working out with a specific sport in mind, it’s easy to forget how everything is interconnected and that you should exercise all of your muscle groups and not just the ones that play a major role in your game.

Don’t get stuck in an exercise rut. Rotate through multiple kinds of workouts, and take the time to address small muscle groups that play a more supportive role in your athletic performance.

5 – Ignoring Your Body’s Cues

They say no pain, no gain, but sometimes you really should listen to your body’s signals that enough is enough. If you’re feeling sick, are in pain, haven’t eaten enough, or didn’t get enough sleep, don’t work out until you’re feeling better.

If your body is in distress, it can’t function properly or make progress. Instead, it could suffer an injury and set you back.

6 – Working Out Too Soon After an Injury

Never work out when you’re injured, even if your pain is gone. Returning to normal activities too soon can exacerbate the injury, prevent healing, or even cause a new injury. You might subconsciously avoid using your injured body part and put undue stress elsewhere.

While some injuries may benefit from light stretching to prevent stiffness and atrophy, never attempt a full workout until your doctor or physical therapist has approved it.

It’s natural to be impatient to return to your exercise routine and sport, but you’ll only prolong your absence if you hurt yourself again.

7 – Ignoring an Injury

Never ignore an injury for the sake of working out. This can make the injury worse, causing real damage that will keep you from competing.

Use home remedies for immediate treatment and consult your doctor or physical therapist before returning to any physical activities. It’s better to miss a week of exercise and practice to prevent losing a whole season or risk never playing again.

True Sports Physical Therapy – Where Maryland Athletes Rehab

At True Sports, we’re sports-focused because you’re sports-focused. The best physical therapists in Baltimore and Maryland provide the highest level of sports physical therapy and expertise you need to get back to your sport. With six convenient state-of-the-art locations to choose from, any athlete who takes their rehab seriously can get awesome care and extraordinary results. Select your location and schedule an appointment and have True Sports get you back to your team. For questions about insurance or self-pay rates, please call our office at 1-401-946-1672.