Benefits of resistance training include improved muscle strength and sports performance and may include reduced injuries. Few studies have examined sex differences in resistance training-related injuries. One of the researches indicated that women are more susceptible to lower-extremity injuries resulting from accidents during resistance training.
- Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: This injury is caused by an inflammation to the tendons around the rotator cuff in the shoulder. This is typically caused by any overhead weight lifting activities, such as lateral raises, bench press and shoulder press. Women who lift weights tend to have less-stable shoulder joints than women who don’t lift at all, found a recent study. The reason: Doing too many exercises in which your elbows are pulled behind your body (think chest flies and rows) can overstretch the connective tissue in the front of the joints. If the backs of your shoulders are tight, you’re even more likely to overstretch the front, increasing the imbalance at the joint
- Rotator Cuff Tear: The four muscles that surround the ball and socket joint of the upper arm bone and the shoulder blade are called the rotator cuff muscles. They all attach around the top of the upper arm bone and lie on each side of the shoulder blade providing strength and support for this joint .
- Patellar Tendonitis: Inflammation to the tendon connecting the kneecap to the shinbone. It is often a result of the quadriceps muscles being too tight or overused. Hack squats, lunges and any weight lifting with the legs can potentially cause this injury.
- Herniated Disk: This condition occurs when comes of the cushions between the vertebrae in the backbone either slips out of place or ruptures. This can be caused by trying to lift heavy weights with your back muscles rather than the muscles in your legs. Dead lifts are the most likely weight lifting-related cause of this injury.
- Back Sprain and Strains: Sprains involve tear or stretched ligaments in the back, while a strain affects torn muscles or tendons. In both cases, pain, swelling and trouble moving the back easily are common symptoms. Rows, bench presses, dead lifts and curls are some of the exercises which may cause these types of injuries.
Injuries are usually the result of repetitive forces that result in ‘micro trauma’. or improper form or over training. Common sense can prevent many weight lifting injuries. Some ways to prevent injuries are listed below:
- Ice and compression is the first treatment that should be considered, then rest and elevation.
- Undertake a good stretching program and proper warm up for limbs before and after exercise/play and a comprehensive conditioning program to develop flexibility, endurance and strength. Stretch both before and after your workout, but warm up a little before stretching.
- Eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, as these are known to help with inflammation. You can also apply ice packs sparingly to help reduce swelling.
- Be aware of your body. If you begin to feel a new pain, especially if it is felt during a specific movement or exercise, consider taking a break from their workout. Even cutting back on painful activities may help in giving your injuries time to heal.
- Work both sides of the body equally. For every exercise that works the front of the body (chest, biceps, quads), be sure to do an exercise that targets the rear (back, triceps, hamstrings). For instance, pair stability-ball chest presses with dumbbell rows, or step-ups with deadlifts.
- Do not increase the load or intensity in haste. A lot of women think that more is better — more reps, more sets, more weight. But if you increase any of these things too quickly, your body may not be able to handle the extra workload. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. If you continue exercising through pain, you risk injury.
- Maintain good form and uniform motion. To maintain proper posture and efficiency, hold your head high. Relax and avoid tensing your muscles.
- In case the pain does not subside, see a doctor right away. You may need to discuss your options with physical therapy or surgery in order to treat your injury successfully.
- Think S.E.A.K. Stand straight (head over shoulders; shoulders over hips; hips over feet), eyes on the horizon (looking down encourages your shoulders to round and your chest to lean forward), abs tight (as if you were about to be punched in the gut, but without holding your breath; this helps stabilize your pelvis), and knees over your second toe (women’s knees have a tendency to turn in because of the angle created by wider hips).
Practice safety first, to prevent injury.