07 May 2015
Avoiding Injury at the Gym
Reaching for the burn? Don’t let an injury at the gym leave you in worse shape than when you started.
The UK has approximately five million adults who are members of a gym, so we thought it a good idea to provide a list of tips and advice to keep you and other gym members safe, so you can achieve your fitness goals whilst avoiding personal injury.
Induction and Training
When signing up for membership, your gym should offer an induction to correctly and safely use the gym’s exercise equipment. It’s highly recommended for avid gym-goers to take advantage of professional advice when it comes to exercising, but it is essential if you are inexperienced at the gym. Training will ensure you are using equipment correctly, safely and to your best advantage. In the event you are injured at the gym following the training advice of a member of staff, the gym would be liable for the bad advice.
Your induction session should ensure that you are using equipment correctly. It is important that you master technique before levelling up; begin with a weight or speed that you are comfortable with before increasing the amount you lift or try to achieve. The correct technique makes the difference between a pulled muscle and a successful visit to the gym.
Report Spills and Faulty Equipment
A puddle from a spilled bottle of water or a dripping towel in a changing room could cut short a gym session, and result in a personal injury claim in the event someone is injured in a slip or fall. Gym management are responsible for the maintenance and cleaning of the public space in ensuring such accidents don’t occur, but vigilance and reporting spilt water or faulty exercise equipment could save another member from injury.
Know your Limits
Doing too much too fast is commonplace with people making a last minute effort to achieve their desired beach body. The fact is that fitness involves a long term plan, coinciding with a healthy lifestyle and diet. Results do not happen in one gym session, so picking up the heaviest weight and lifting it as fast as you can is destined to result in injury. This is something that should be explained at induction, also taking into account any medical conditions you may have. The message is simple: don't overdo it. Work at a pace that you know your body can handle, be mindful of any sore spots that may need attention before taking part in any exercise and stop if you feel weak or dizzy. Further to this, ask for help! If you're not sure how to use a piece of equipment or want to attempt a heavier weight, staff should be available to assist and avoid injury.
Be Considerate of Others
Especially in weights rooms where dumbbell bars are carried back and forth and people may be carrying heavy weights, special awareness is important in the gym. This consideration also extends to tidying away weights after use so that trips and falls can be averted.
In avoiding the spreading of infection and bacteria, personal hygiene is important at the gym. Many people exercise whilst wearing clothing that leaves the skin – and potentially wounds – exposed. It is the responsibility of the gym management to see that equipment is regularly sterilised and wiped down, but by taking care of your own hygiene and taking a small towel to clean up after yourself, you can help to keep your gym healthy and safe from slippery surfaces.
The five most common injuries from exercising incorrectly are the ankle, knee, lower back, shoulder and neck. By assigning an allotted time for stretching and warming up/ down at the start and end of a gym session, pulled muscles can be avoided and sore spots may be detected. The correct technique should see the strained areas of your body supported when lifting weights; for example, your neck and back should be supported by the bench when bench-pressing.
By keeping these simple things in mind, you can reach for that burn, trim those pounds or achieve those gains without causing injury to yourself and others around you. In the event you suffer an injury at the gym that wasn’t your fault, Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyers can help you to prove liability in claiming compensation.
If you have been injured in an accident at the gym or a public place through no fault of your own contact Slater and Gordon Lawyers on 0800 916 9046 or alternatively contact us online and we will call you back.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers are a leading personal injury law firm with more than 1,450 staff and 18 offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Derby, Merseyside, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.