Avoiding Trauma in the Gym

Avoiding Trauma in the Gym

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In this article we will analyze the various weightlifting exercises from the side of acute trauma or wear and tear potential.

After each exercise, we will show in detail all the execution errors that can be made, limited to those that could cause injury.

The aim is to provide the right tools to train better, for longer, avoiding periods of forced rest which, in addition to de-training and loss of tone, can lead to disinterest and abandonment.

The use of the following lies in its application limited to the initial conditioning phase, after which the work will be more oriented towards fatigue.

Let's start with two important concepts:

  • For any exercise, the risk of joint trauma is greater as the load lifted increases; therefore the potentially most dangerous phases are those of strength / power, of medium entity in the hypertrophy phase, less dangerous (but not exempt) are those of resistance to strength;
  • Statistically the most common traumas in strength routines are acute in nature, while in strength endurance cycles they tend to generate repetitive stress. This happens because the exercises carried out in resistant force use relatively light weights which, in case of incorrect execution, do not immediately overcome the resistance of tendons and ligaments with the creation of the traumatic event, but stress these structures with the appearance of the lesion in the time, following reiteration. However, it should not be concluded that it is better to train in endurance rather than strength. On the contrary, the objective of what is reported is to convince readers to focus on correct execution during the conditioning phase, such that, once you reach the effective phase, correct execution becomes spontaneous, allowing you to focus only on the intensity. .
  • Any movement is at risk of jerking if a short preparatory warm-up is not performed. The first two repetitions of the first set of each exercise should also be performed with greater slowness and control;
  • Finally, there is no doubt that the risk of getting hurt still exists, due to one's own cause, due to an accident or a pre-existing and ignored basic condition.

Types of Trauma

In order to make the following exposition clear even to non-professionals, let's try to understand the meaning of some keywords.


Acute. Injury to the ligaments. It can be caused by a movement, an action that goes beyond the normal range of motion of the joint, or by efforts on a plane in which there is normally no or almost no movement. An example of the latter case is the classic lateral ankle sprain. A fairly large distortion always brings with it a partial subluxation.

Joint dislocation

Acute. Displacement of the heads of the joint with the loss of relationships of contiguity. It generally occurs due to an exogenous impact, which indirectly causes a large laceration of the joint capsule and ligaments.

Tore up

Acute. Muscle injury or muscle tendon insertion. It can occur at any point: in the muscle womb or at the level of muscle tendon insertions. The tear is caused either by excessive stretching of the muscle, or by a sudden and abrupt increase in tension within the muscle-tendon system, resulting in a tear. In the vast majority of cases, however, the tears occur within the normal range of motion, during the vigorous action of the muscle. Both sprain and tear are acute trauma.

Tendon rupture

Acute. It is part of the tears, but more specifically affects the tendons; these can be partially damaged or in total interruption of continuity, even on the bone or muscle insertion.


Acute. It occurs due to the impact of an external body against the muscle with damage to the skin and underlying tissues. This injury involves rupture of the capillaries, hemorrhage, edema and an inflammatory reaction. The irritation of the nerve endings follows the pain.

Bone fracture

Acute. Any loss of the contiguity of a bone due to particularly violent impacts.

Wear injury

Chronic. Damage caused not by a traumatic event, but by the recurrence over time of unnatural movements for the joint or, if in the normal range, by prolonged excessive stress. For example, prolonged execution of the hack squat can be aetiological for inflammation of the patellar tendon. As we will see below, wear injuries are the most frequent in wrong executions in the weight room. Bodybuilding weightlifting hardly leads to acute trauma, barring macroscopic errors, but we will also identify where these can occur - different is for disciplines such as powerlifting or weightlifting.

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