If you’ve been working out a lot lately, you definitely want to pay attention to this blog. One of the most common types of patient we see in our office is someone who has been exercising, and is now experiencing pain as a result. This is often due to improper form, which places stress on the muscles, ligaments, and joints.

Luckily, just a few minor adjustments to your form can prevent many exercise-related injuries.

Stand up. First, stand up if you’re going to lift weights above your head. We’re talking about military presses, dumbbell presses, or any other exercise in which you lift weights overhead. If you sit during this type of exercise, you will increase the disc pressure in your lower back by up to 40 percent, and therefore increase your odds of lower back injuries and pain.

If you stand to lift weights, but then feel unstable, you’re lifting a bit too much. Reduce the weight, and proceed when you feel comfortable.

Pull up (or down) in front of you. Another common mistake is performing pull-ups, or lateral pull-downs, behind the head. This places too much pressure on the front of the shoulders and increases your odds of an injury.

Instead, keep the bar in front of you. The shoulders are more stable in this position, and you’re less likely to injure yourself.

Remember, the whole point of exercise is to get healthier and improve the body, not hurt yourself! If you have more questions about proper exercise techniques and alignment, or believe you might have injured yourself, give us a call and we’ll be happy to consult with you.