I read an interesting study recently in the American Journal of Sports Medicine about weight training-related injuries over a 17-year period in the US. Almost a million people were injured, and over 90 percent of the injuries came from free weights as opposed to machines. Would you believe 65 percent came just from people dropping weights on themselves?
I can believe it. I know I have had those days where I have the will to work out, but I don’t have the energy. I usually just take it easy: use lighter resistance, shorten my exercise and stretch a lot. But sometimes you want to push yourself, and apparently that is when exercising can get seriously dangerous. Ten percent of the people injured hurt themselves by having a body part smashed or crushed between weights. I cannot even read that fact without cringing.
The good thing about resistance bands is if you drop one on yourself, you will barely feel it. As far as getting crushed between resistance bands? It is not like that will ever happen. And the 11 percent of injuries due to overexertion, lost balance or falling can be avoided by staying aware of your limits. Always work up resistance, starting with the lightest bands and moving up. If you want to work out, but you don’t have your usual oomph, you can always move to a lower resistance, or even try the exercises without a band. Some other helpful hints:
1. Warm up: This can be as simple as some jumping jacks, jogging in place, or working through your exercise routine without the bands.
2. Stretch: You can even use your bands for this!
3. Cool down: Make sure to stretch all those muscles you just worked out.
4. Be wary of any exercises that stretch the band beyond its capacity, especially in a way that may send it flying back towards your face. That would not be a pleasant surprise.