Getting into a good fitness routine only to be sidetracked by an injury is frustrating to say the least. The following are three of the most common gym and fitness related injuries, as well as ways to avoid them.

Lower Back Injury

Cause: If you spend the majority of the day sitting at a computer for work, this is an injury you are very prone to. Going from a seated position for eight hours to an extended overhead shoulder lift, you may pay for it with a low back strain or injury. Why? Because your upper back is unable to properly extend, which causes most people to arch their lower backs, causing stress there.

Prevention: As always, stretching before working out will help reduce the risk of injury to your lower back. You also need to strengthen your upper back in order to compensate for the sitting you do all day long at the office. Personal trainer Justin Price suggests sitting against a wall, flattening your lower back onto the wall and doing pelvic tilts. Price also suggests exercising standing up as much as possible in the gym. Standing will encourage you to engage the larger muscles in your body.

Knee Injury

Cause: Again, the usual cause for a knee injury is the amount of time spent sitting throughout the day. When we don’t use our hip muscles at all during the day and then jump right into an intense workout, the knee has great potential for injury. The knee gets all of the stress when your hip muscles are not strong.

Prevention: One of the best ways to prevent a knee injury is to strengthen the hip muscles. This can be done in a myriad of ways including yoga, lunges and squats exercises. Whichever exercise you choose to do, make sure it targets the hip muscles and strengthens them, lessening the potential for a knee injury.

Stay tuned for the next installment in this series where we will explore other common fitness injuries and ways to prevent them. Exercise and fitness is always a great activity to incorporate into your daily life, but in order to prevent injury, you first must know what to be on the look out for.