Overtraining and bad form can turn your daily workout into a health hazard

By Ea Francisco

They say that soreness is a sign of a good workout but pushing yourself to injury is another thing.

An analysis was done by ellipticalreviews.com in order to find out what the riskiest exercise and equipment are by looking at emergency room data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS).

Looking at the number of workout-related emergency room visits, they found that roughly a third of the ER visits involved running and treadmills. Though the injuries involved—shin splints, stress fractures, and runner’s knee—could easily have been avoided with proper pacing, pushing yourself too hard and not doing the proper warm-ups can lead to these injuries. Treadmill injuries can range from simple sprains to broken bones. Stationary bikes and ellipticals-related incidents are also of a similar nature.

Not all of them were related to overuse though; some cases of physical trauma were just accidents. One of the more serious offenders is the medicine ball, which was responsible for seven percent of the cases. Medicine balls are usually thrown over head or slammed against a wall. This is why accidents related to them are usually head injuries, same with jumping rope and pull-up bars.

Looking at the number of workout-related emergency room visits, they found that roughly a third of the ER visits involved running and treadmills

The analysis also identified that the neck, lower back, and shoulders are common sources of injury.

The neck, lower back, and shoulders are among the most common places to experience a workout injury and can be influenced by a mixture of elements including posture, physical strain, and poor form. Bad form can also get you seriously hurt if you’re exercising with weights.

The only thing that separates your favorite gym equipment from a dangerous machine is yourself. You have to know your limits and have someone with experience be your spotter. Most gyms have resident coaches and trainers to watch over, so make sure you ask for help to avoid improper form.