GOLD'S Gym personal trainer Jerry Diaz said there is a right and safe approach that can help prevent injuries when one is exercising, training or preparing for an athletic event.

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Kelvin “The Big Hit” Fitial and Jerry Diaz explore the Wing Beach Trail.

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He said if an individual over-trains or is sleep deprived, then s/he risks pushing his or her body over the edge and tearing muscles in the process.

As a former competitive athlete himself, Diaz said he has experienced various injuries, including bruises, a dislocated shoulder and a knee that required surgery.

“This is the reason why individuals who take their fitness seriously seek the help of a certified fitness coach, nutritionist, personal trainer or physical therapist to provide a road map of proper fitness and nutrition approach,” Diaz said.

Diaz said there are common injuries that one should know before undergoing fitness training.

The first is lower back pain. Lifting heavy weights with a bad form can increase your risk for serious lower back pain.

Prior to every workout, one must perform dynamic stretches and simple movements such as air squats, vinyasa, iron cross, lunge rotations, and the scorpion.

 To avoid knee and hip pain, perform a lower body dynamic stretch before the workout and a static stretch after the workout. One must also focus on strengthening one’s core which is the foundation of the body’s extremities.

Another common injury is the shoulder rotator cuff tear. The rotator cuff assists you when performing arm, chest, and back exercises. Unfortunately, excessive workouts with the shoulders can lead to in increased risk for enhanced wear and tear that can be a lifelong shoulder injury. But performing light weight and shoulder exercises can avoid wear and tear.

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Jerry Diaz on his bike attempts a jump at the Kan Pacific track.

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The Achilles tendon  behind your ankle can be overused during jumping, running and sprinting conditioning exercises. Inflammation in the area will lead to pain, limiting your ability to walk comfortably. You can avoid Achilles tendon pain by using proper footwear and stretching your lower extremities.

Last on the list is neck injury. Many movements that include placing weight on the shoulders such as barbell back squats and overhead presses can lead to neck injury. Overloading weights or dropping a barbell on the neck can cause a cervical spine injury that is extremely painful and may lead to paralysis.

So it is best to go light  and perfect the form before increasing the load. If performing a squat, begin with your body weight and slowly add dumbbells and kettlebells during your squat movements.

Diaz said when he takes on a client, he makes sure that there is careful planning and rigorous supervision to promote strength and conditioning progression while decreasing the  chances of injuries.

When unforeseen injuries occur, Diaz said he teaches clients proper resting, compressing, icing or heating.  Consulting a doctor is also important, he added.

“It is essential to teach proper posture and movement techniques during each exercise and training activity,” Diaz said. “I usually suggest and recommend fitness programs that match an individual’s current fitness level.”

He added, “To enhance an individual’s strength and conditioning performance while avoiding injury means listening to your mind and body. Dedicating yourself to learning about the movements you are about to perform can prevent unnecessary injuries.”


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