Whether you are new to the gym or starting back after a break due to injury, illness or pandemic restrictions, ensuring that you do not get injured is essential so you can fully enjoy your gym experience.

Often when you are going to the gym for the first time in a while,  you are excited and want to do everything at once, however, this can increase your risk of injury.

How to get started in the gym?

While some injuries are unavoidable accidents, there are always steps you can take to help protect yourself as much as possible.

  • Warm up properly: A warm-up raises the temperature of the involved muscles and promotes flexibility and mobility. Riding a stationary bike, jogging, swimming, stair climbing or high repetitions of very lightweight exercises are recommended forms of warm-up. This will ensure that your body is  ready for the more strenuous workout
  • Avoid just repeating the same motion over and over again.   If you continuously train or exercise the same muscles in the same way you will increase your chances of getting an overuse injury. To help prevent overuse injuries, vary your workouts.  Train different groups of muscles if strength training, use different equipment, and don’t always just run for your cardio workout, try the static bike or rowing machine. This will help keep you more balanced,  spread the strain across your body and make your workouts more exciting,
  • Good form for your exercise. If you are new to the gym or want to try a new exercise or piece of equipment, learning the right way to use it can help prevent injury. Often you get a free session with one of the personal trainers in a gym so take advantage of this to learn the proper way to do an exercise. Here at Physiofit, we offer 1:1 strength and conditioning sessions with a physio who is also strength and condition trained therefore they will be able to give you the best advice and teach you how to use any gym equipment you are interested in to help reduce injury chances.
  • Resting in between workouts. Exercising too often without adequate time for the body to recover can negatively impact your body’s overall level of strength and conditioning. Overtraining drains your energy which, in turn, slows or negatively impacts your progress.  Your body will become depleted and weakened,  which will increase your likelihood of an injury. The solution is to cut back to three to four sessions per week if you are always doing the same type of exercise and keep session length to no more than an hour.
  • Do not push your body too hard or too quickly: This is extremely important if you are starting a new type of exercise or returning after a period of rest. It’s essential to slowly increase your intensity levels ( even if it seems too easy at first) so your body can adapt and strengthen slowly. Listen to your body. You can expect sore muscles after your workout. But you should never feel pain when exercising. If you feel pain, stop right away.
  • Avoid doing exercise that is too strenuous for your level of fitness. Using too much weight in an exercise will increase injury potential. What’s too much? If you can’t control weight on its downward, loading motion or if you have to jerk or heave a weight in order to lift it. An out-of-control barbell or dumbbell can have a mind of its own and obeys the laws of gravity therefore you may find yourself on the floor with the weight.
  • Using proper equipment. In the gym, the main equipment you will need is your footwear. The type you need will depend on the exercises you intend on doing, for example, if you are going to run on the treadmill you will need proper running trainers, if you are lifting weights a weightlifting shoe will be more appropriate.

Further support  before you start at the gym

Here at Physiofit, we can offer you 1:1 strength and conditioning sessions with a physiotherapist, where we can teach you how to lift weights and use gym equipment in a safe and structured way. We can tailor a gym program specific to your needs. We also offer running biomechanical assessments, looking at the way you move and identifying areas that may need improvement to keep you injury-free. if you have any questions regarding our services please do not hesitate to contact us.


Book online or call us on 01223 914140

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