How to avoid getting injured while working out

I felt compelled to write this article on a topic I feel very strongly about: safety. Why? Because I get a lot of mail from my readers and while a lot of you who visit my site are old pros at bodybuilding (or at least experienced), a lot of people who stop by are new to weight lifting, or are just looking for information on fitness in general.

It's great to see newcomers get excited as they catch the bodybuilding bug but as many of us know, injuries can happen in the gym. This is doubly so when you are new to the world of working out - there is a temptation to overdo things, as well as a much greater chance of doing something in a potentially harmful way due to inexperience.

Although we all EVENTUALLY learn from our mistakes, I hate to see anyone go through any painful injuries that could of been avoided if they just had a little bit of good safety knowledge. Plus, an injury can keep you out of the gym for weeks or even months, so I'd like to give you some tips on staying safe while you get ripped.

Listen to your body. Many injuries occur from people trying to "play through the pain". You should never, ever do this. Pain is your body's way of telling you to stop what you're doing. In this way, pain can be a friend who tells us "hey - take it easy there".

This should go without saying, but you'd be surprised how many people don't follow this simple rule: "Know your limitations". Many people hurt themselves unnecessarily by not remembering this. If you have knee problems, don't do exercises which will place a lot of stress on it - running, leg presses, etc.

While the temptation is strong to just "jump in" to a weight lifting routine, a run, whatever it is, you can significantly reduce your chances of getting injured by doing a quick warm up before you get started. So remember: "Always warm up before a workout." Stretches are always good - and if you're weightlifting, start with a few reps using a lighter weight than you intend to use in your workout. This is one of the most important things that will keep you from getting an injury so please, please, please don't neglect to warm up!

Last, consider getting a little expert advice. (reading my articles is a good place to start!) Having the input of a pro for your first few workouts can be invaluable although you don't necessarily need a personal trainer on a permanent basis. They can give you pointers on the safe ways to do whatever your target workout is; and tell you what to avoid.

It is important to make sure you go about getting fit in a safe manner. And I totally believe there is a workout or fitness plan for every man, woman and child. These tips will help you make the most of your body - without having an avoidable injury. Stay safe and see you at the gym!