Here is a list of some important safety tips that should be followed by all gym goers. These tips can help prevent injury and help speed up progress by burning off stubborn body fat.
Check it up!
Have a medical or physical check up with your doctor before you begin a new workout routine, especially if you have been living a sedentary lifestyle over the past year or more.
Warm it up
Always warm up prior to working out. Most injuries are the result of jumping into a heavy workout too quickly. A good warm up only takes a few minutes, but it can prevent injury to muscles and joints. Ensure that you stretch the muscle groups you will be training thoroughly, as well as warming up with some cardiovascular exercise for at least 10 minutes before commencing your training routine.
Not just for boys
Use a spotter whenever necessary. When doing exercises such as bench press, squats, shoulder press, lying tricep extensions etc. have someone to support you and provide assistance when you struggle to lift the weight. Where applicable use catch racks, such as the squat rack or power rack. The rack will prevent you from getting pined under a heavy barbell. This is a must if you are working out alone and do not have a spotter.
Use proper form when executing exercises at all times. Training with poor technique will produce poor results and increase the risk of injury. It does not matter how heavy you can train, it all comes down to technique and being able to remain injury free.
When unsure how to do an exercise ask a knowledgeable instructor or experienced gym member to demonstrate an exercise for you.
Dress for success
Dress appropriately for your workouts. If you are training in a cold environment make sure to wear a sweat shirt and pants. This will keep the muscles warm and prevent injury. The opposite applies during warm weather training. Wear lighter clothing to keep cooler and prevent dehydration. The same applies to other training apparel, like shoes. If you are running ensure you have proper running shoes to perform at your best. Never train in any open toed shoes. The risk of free weights rolling about gym and heavy equipment falling on your feet is quite likely.
Like you found it
Put your weights back when you are finished with them. It is not safe to have barbells and dumbbells laying around on the floor or left on the exercise equipment. Return all equipment to its correct location when you are finished, this is good gym etiquette.
Drink water during your workouts. This will prevent dehydration and help maintain your energy levels. Carry around a water bottle and sip water between sets. It is best to drink water that is at room temperature because cold water can cause stomach cramps while working out.
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.