How To Avoid Getting Injured When Starting An Exercise Program

Freedom For Life Fitness | Blog | How to Avoid Getting Injured

How To Avoid Getting Injured

One of the most common concerns with fitness is starting an exercise program and avoiding getting injured. I hear from people they have experienced a variety of issues when beginning a routine; from my elbow hurts to a strained muscle it’s quite commonplace. What can be done to prevent this from happening? 

Start Slowly

Well, there’s several things. One of them is to start slowly.  In order to start slowly we want to keep our exercise volume low.  Volume is a fancy word for the number of sets and reps that you do. If your body’s not acclimated to exercise and you go to the gym, and do three or four sets of each exercise, it’s likely going to be a problem.. So you start with one set. As your body adjusts, and becomes familiar with that stimulus, you can go to two and then eventually to three, but start with one.

Move Slowly

Another thing you can do is move slowly. Rapid movements cause more dynamic stress on the tissues more likely resulting in damage. So going slow, and controlled with our movements, is going to lessen the likelihood of an injury. A general rule of thumb is a 3 second lowering phase and a 2 second lifting phase on most exercises. 

Distinguish Pain

Besides moving slowly it’s important to distinguish between good and bad pain. A good pain is a muscle burn. It typically starts slowly and increases as the exercise progresses. Pain that comes on all of a sudden and/or is sharper in nature is more likely to be a bad pain/injury. Whenever a sudden pain happens or if you’re not sure – stop and rest. Sometimes we can experience cramps but those usually go away with a short rest, bad pain or injuries will rarely go away with a short rest. If in doubt, stop and rest. 

Stretch and Recover

To lessen the likelihood of experiencing bad pain it’s important to stretch and incorporate recovery techniques. Stretching is a part of recovery but so is foam rolling or trigger pointing. A newer type of recovery tool is the massage gun. By using a massage gun, after a workout, you can decrease that muscular soreness and help speed up recovery. 

Besides stretching and recovery it’s a good idea to have an analysis/assessment of your body. Having a qualified trainer perform assessments on you can help identify specific things to work on and avoid. This can be a helpful part of avoiding injuries when starting an exercise program.


In summary to avoid getting injured:

  • Start Slowly
  • Use 1 set per exercise
  • Perform exercises under control
  • Learn to recognize between good and bad pain.
  • Perform recovery techniques
  • Have an assessment to understand what to incorporate in your program and avoid.


Glen and Yvette Carrigan - Personal Trainer Leawood, KS

Glen Carrigan
Freedom 4 Life Fitness