Saturday, March 28, 2009

How to avoid muscle injuries

How to avoid muscle injuries

By Jon Cardozo

Many people begin a new project with much excitement but inevitably lose some steam as time goes on. This certainly happens in the world of muscle building, and when the going gets tough it can be difficult to maintain your motivation. In order to avoid this, it helps to have a little knowledge beforehand.

Even though a person might be eager to get started, rushing ahead with misinformation can lead to major problems down the road. Not only can this impede your progress in a strength training program, but it can also lead to injury and illness if care is not taken in the beginning. Here are a few tips to help you avoid pain in the future.

The first thing you should check before you begin any serious weightlifting program is your current fitness level. Getting a checkup from your doctor is a good idea at this point if you haven't been physically active for a while. It's true that many people exaggerate this point and assume that they are not ready to get started on a physical fitness program. In fact, usually the exercise program is exactly what they need to improve their energy and physical well being. However, if you have any kind of muscle injuries you need to address this right away before getting started, and you may want to consider some newer therapies.

This so called alternative therapy is becoming more common and can offer recovery options that simply are not available in a doctor's office. The important point to keep in mind is that these injuries should be should be dealt with before they become a more severe problem. Remember that an injury like tendonitis can hamper your ability to train and delay your progress significantly.

Another important thing to keep in mind is the recovery program. You should never underestimate the importance of resting in between workouts. Some people make the mistake of going to the gym day after day and following an extremely intense workout program. The truth is that your muscles need rest in between workouts since that is when they grow. Too many beginners try to build their muscles all at once.

Remember that muscle grows because you're exposing it to a heavier weight than it is used to. This growth occurs after the workout is complete, and the body needs time to rebuild the muscle cells. This is why many well known trainers only recommend a few hours of workouts per week, believe it or not.

Getting plenty of rest is actually one of the most important parts of muscle building. Do not underestimate the importance of a good night's sleep. Growth hormone is released during deep sleep, which is why you need to get plenty of sleep if you're serious about building a good amount of muscle. Also remember that your entire body is under stress during a workout, not just your muscles. You need to give your entire body a chance to recover before returning to the gym.

The last bit of advice I would like to give you before you begin your new weightlifting program has to do with listening to others. When you start going to the gym or hanging out in a bodybuilding forum, you'll probably be exposed to many different opinions that contradict each other. It's tough to sort it all out, but you need to look for people who have proven their philosophies and achieved success. Look for a trainer who has proven how to build muscle naturally without steroids and even with no supplements (or a minimum of supplements).

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