Sushant Chavan is mobiefit’s Head of Technology and here he takes us through his fitness journey as he looks to become healthier and fitter. Follow him on Twitter.


I began by talking about how I took my first steps for the Ketogenic diet and at the same time I also started working out. It has been roughly a month since I started and though I wouldn’t call myself an expert these recommendations stem from insights I got as someone starting anew. Everyone who has been working out for a while will swear by these too. So what’s the point of repeating them? Well once we get into the grind of working out we often forget these crucial aspects which eventually lead to some or the other kind of injury forcing you to press pause. Let’s not let that happen. So here are some tips to avoid injury at the gym or even at home.

Warm up
I can’t even begin to stress the importance of a good warmup session. The first thing you ought to do once you are in the gym is to stretch those muscles out and get them ready for the day’s workout. The Internet is full of anecdotes where people have pulled their muscles and have got into all sorts of trouble because they skipped their warm up. If you thought that you need to stretch just before your workout think again? It is equally important to stretch those muscles after your workout for a cool down recovery. This is how you should ideally plan your gym routine.

  • Pre -Workout Warm up :10 to 15 min
  • Workout: 45 to 60 min
  • Post Workout Stretching: 10 to 15 min

Given a choice I would rather reduce my workout time than mess with my warm and cool down time.

Hydration
This is a no brainer, if you start experiencing fatigue and feel that your muscles are cramping up, it is a result of low water content in your body. There are zillions of myths around how much water you ought to drink while working out but I would recommend you to listen to your body. Keep sipping water throughout your time at the gym. Make sure you don’t gulp down too much too quickly and end up feeling bloated, or get that nauseous feeling.

Salt intake also has role to play in how much water your body holds but unless you are on a certain kind of diet (there are plenty to choose from) which requires you to regulate your iodine consumption you don’t need to worry about it.

Form
Stories floating around how X injured their lower back while doing squats or how the barbell fell directly on Y’s chest while doing the bench press are in abundance. There are many who wouldn’t even attempt exercises such deadlifts, bench press and squats due to the fear of injury.

Compound exercises require you to really understand the mechanics behind doing them right. These exercises utilise a variety of muscles and require you to exploit your skeletal make up in giving you the maximum benefit.  Injuries primarily happen because people neglect the basics and rush into them.

Weight training constitutes a big part of PHA
One of the basic tips to avoid injury: Get form right before moving on to heavier weights (Image: Oxygen Mag)

Our tips to avoid injury could not be complete without telling you to only focus on your form while you are preparing to do these exercises make sure the equipment is properly placed, weights are tightly secured and the you use the right form to complete the range of motion. Forget about increasing your weights, just focus on the form.

Safety checks
This is an extension of the earlier part. Take time to understand the equipment and if you aren’t fully clear ask your trainer or your gym buddy to explain the role of the different parts of the apparatus.

Modern day equipments come with detailed explanations on them. Don’t worry about looking like a n00b while spending time reading instructions written on those machines. The information on it is really helpful. It goes on to explain the muscles you will be working on and the kind of grip that will required to activate  the specific muscle of your body.

For Squats or Bench Presses make sure you get a spotter, so that you don’t injure yourself.

Accessories
Showing up at the gym in the right gear is super important. Gym gloves are a great add on to tide over those sweaty palms and strengthen your grip. Using the dumbbells  or barbell bar without gloves can lead to chaffing of the skin or even cuts. A good pair of gloves keeps your hands safe.

Most of the gyms provide a waist belt which is useful while lifting heavy weights. The belt, generally worn above the waist protects your lower back and acts as a wall against which the abdomen muscles get pushed while lifting weights. This helps them grow stronger while making sure that your core is stable.

Some of the other accessories which people often use are wrist wraps and knee guards.

Next time on My Fitness Story: “How to deal with barbs and comments on your new healthy lifestyle”

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