How to avoid getting an injury when you’re working out in the gym

How to avoid getting an injury when you're working out in the gym

Torn ligaments. Pulled muscles. Overuse injuries. With every new exercise routine comes a new risk of injury, whether it’s straining a muscle from lifting, developing knee pain from running, or tearing a tendon during calisthenics. With an estimated 8.6 million sports and recreation-related injuries each year in America, these fears are not unfounded.

However, before you let this fear keep you from starting a new exercise routine, the good news is that the majority of sports injuries are “overuse-related, rather than traumatic, meaning they typically don’t require surgery”, said Dr Matthew Matava, an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine physician at Washington University in St Louis.

With the right precautions, you can develop a well-rounded exercise routine, one that maximises the benefits while minimising the risk of injury. To get a sense of the exercises that leave you especially vulnerable to injury, we turned to a mixture of sports doctors, physical therapists and athletic trainers to get their consensus on the most common mistakes people are making, and how to prevent them.


The deadlift — where a lifter starts in a squatting position, pulling a weighted bar up into an upright, locked position — is one of the most iconic lifts.

However, its simplicity is deceiving. “Deadlift is one of the best tools, if done correctly, and one of the most dangerous things you can do if done wrong,” said Cameron Apt, an athletic trainer at the University of Rochester.

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