1. Practice good form- when lifting weights, it is absolutely crucial that you do so with proper form. Weightlifting involves putting a lot of stress on your muscles and joints, and you need to make sure you are able to handle that kind of force properly with the correct form for each exercise you do.
2. Have a spotter or gym buddy- it’s always a good idea to have someone ready to help you out in an emergency. This is especially true for lifting high amounts of weight, seeing as weightlifters often lift to the point of muscle failure, making it very easy to be trapped under the bar or drop the weight without meaning to. A spotter or gym buddy can be on hand to make sure these things don’t happen.
3. Stay hydrated- it can be easy to forget to drink water when you’re in the middle of a workout high, but it’s very important to stay hydrated during exercise seeing as you are constantly losing water due to sweating.
4. Warm up and cool down- warming your body up before exercise is one of the best ways to prevent injuries. Cooling down by lowering the intensity of your exercise gradually as you finish your workout is important as well. For your warm up, try doing some simple exercises that get your blood pumping and your muscles working.
5. Know your limits- it can be tempting to get pumped up and lift a lot of weight right out of the gate, but you need to know what you are actually capable of. Overestimating how much weight you can lift is one of the easiest ways to seriously injure yourself.
6. Be aware of your surroundings- it’s easy to ignore what’s around you when you’ve got your headphones blasting and are in the middle of an awesome workout. Being focused is a good thing, but make sure it does not lead to getting yourself knocked out by another gym-goer’s weights or movements.
7. Put your weights back- leaving weights all over the gym floor is not only rude and inconsiderate towards other gym goers, it’s also a safety hazard. Tripping over weights that have been left on the floor is a great way to hurt oneself.
8. Don’t rush- getting through your workout as quickly as possible may be good for saving time, but it increases the chances of injury by making it easier to make mistakes with your form and causing you to skip your warm up. Try and go to the gym at a time of day that allows you to take your time instead of rush.
9. Wipe down equipment- to keep your gym clean and sanitary remember to always wipe down machines and equipment after using them. You wouldn’t want someone else’s sweat on you, so think of your fellow gym-goers and help keep them and yourself as hygienic as possible by wiping down that bench or gym mat you’ve just finished using.
10. Ask!- sure, it can be embarrassing to let a fellow gym member or a gym staff member know that you’re unsure how to properly use a piece of equipment or a machine, but simply asking for help beats risking injury every time. The gym would be a much safer place if we all asked for help every so often.