Safety in the gym

So, you have decided to work out in a gym. Wise decision. But what do you really know about the equipment’s and what to do in emergency?

In most gyms, once you register you are left on your own to learn how to use the equipment, learn the proper form and the exercise best suited for your goals.

You might find yourself receiving advice from other people who may not have the right information and experience.

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When 2 – 5 people in the gym are all giving you advice at the same time, you are bound to get confused and injured. An injury can derail your fitness goal. It might take you a couple of weeks or months to recover. In the process, you might lose your zeal.

The first time a client comes to Bellisima gym, you will be taken through orientation. This is a guide on how to use the gym equipment’s, proper form during different exercises, hygiene, gym etiquette and dress code.

If you have just registered in a gym, you may feel intimidated when others look like they know what they are doing.

According to Lillian ‘’ Every time I entered the gym, I felt like leaving again or staying glued to the stationary bike. It was the only equipment that was easy for me to use. Nobody seemed to notice my confusion. One of the clients taught me how to use the treadmill and the stair climber. I realized later that I was not using the proper form but I am still grateful that she was willing to help”

If you are feeling like Lillian, after reading this, you will not only enjoy the gym, it will help you to get result and prevent injury.

Warm up and stretch before any exercise

Warming up is very important. You should do it before beginning any exercise. Most times people are in a hurry and they forget to warm up or they believe that it is not necessary. Warming up increases your heart rate and prepares your body for your workout. In the gym, you can use the treadmill to warm up or you can jog in place.

After warming up, do your stretching. Use dynamic stretching. Always use dynamic stretch when starting your workout and static stretching at the end of your workout. Stretching prevents injury. Your focus during stretching should be based on your workout.

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  • Do not stand on the belt when starting the treadmill
  • Stop the treadmill and make sure it is no longer moving before you get down. Jumping off a moving treadmill can cause serious accident
  • When you get down from the treadmill, take a moment to get your balance before walking away
  • Use the speed that is comfortable for you. You are not in a competition. Increasing your speed to impress someone or to show off is a no-no. Some treadmill models have the speed on the handle. Be alert, you may push the increase button without knowing.
  • The treadmill is a machine manufactured to obey your instruction when you push the buttons. It is not meant to think for you or correct you. Ask questions before stepping on it. This is not the time to pretend you know what you do not know.

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  • Lift only the weight that is comfortable for you. Then cautiously and gradually increase the weight. Do not be that guy, who walks into the gym sees someone lifting 30kg weights and immediately attacks the 70kg weights. You are in a gym to work out and have fun, it is not a competition. At the end of the day nobody really cares if you lifted 30kg or 70kg. You may be the only one who eventually cares – because you will be sore.

 

  • Use slow and controlled movement when lifting any weight. Do not jerk or struggle with the weight. Struggling when lifting weight is a sign that you should try a lighter weight. Ignoring the pressure you are putting your body through may lead to serious injury. I do not believe in “no pain no gain”. You will lift that weight but maybe not today. Give your body time. Anytime you jerk your weights, your body and muscles also jerks, this could lead to injury.

 

  • For your own safety do not lift weights when there is no spotter. If you are in trouble, he will help you to put back the weights. There will come a time when your arms refuses to take the weight up, bring it down or re rack. There will come a time when you leave the weight, (I am not talking about 1kg but 70 kg) on your chest, not because you want to but because your arms have turned to jelly. You will thank a spotter for being there.

 

  • Always remember to put back pins and collars on bar bells. They might become dislodged and cause an accident. Do not leave weights lying around. Re rack the weights in the appropriate weight racks and keep the dumbbells and kettle bells where they should be.

 

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Body-Weight-Squat

  • Make sure your knee does not go past your toes. Do not drop your hip below the knee line
  • Go only as low as is comfortable for you. Just use proper form

 

Lunges

lunge

  • Use slow and controlled movement
  • Your toe and knee must point towards the same direction
  • Do not jerk or drop your knee to the floor. Tap your knee gently to the ground
  • Go only as low as is comfortable for you. Just use proper form

 

All upright exercise

  • Keep your head neutral. Try not to jerk your head
  • Keep your back straight and your shoulder back. Do not slouch or round your shoulder.
  • Keep your chest up. Imagine your chest is pointing towards the sky
  • Do not arch your back

Above all pay attention to what is going on around you at all times while in the gym. This will keep you away from injury and keep you from injuring others.

Pay attention to your body. If you notice any of this signs:

  • Light headedness
  • Nausea
  • Throbbing headache at a spot in your head
  • Seeing floating spots
  • Dizziness
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Your heart beat throbbing in your ears
  • Any change in your heart rhythm or heart pain
  • Any pain on any part of your body that does not go away.

Stop immediately and call the attention of other people in the gym. This is not the time to pretend. Tell someone how you feel and ask for help.

Get a personal trainer to instruct you, watch over you, and guide you in proper form and the best exercise suited for your goals.

Read our article on gym etiquette to find out how to manage your personal hygiene in the gym.

 

 

 

 

References

www.bodybuilding.com

www.verywell.com/gym safety tips

 

Author: Nkeoma DND Agu

Nkeoma DND Agu is a certified personal, group, and corporate fitness trainer. She is also a certified fitness and nutrition coach. She has been in the fitness industry for more than 10 years. She holds certification with one of the highest certifying bodies in fitness and wellness in USA, National Exercise and Strength Training Association (NESTA) She is the Director of Bellisima Fitness And Health Studio Ltd. She helps individuals and corporate bodies in Nigeria and all over the world to achieve personal and company fitness and health goals.

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