8 Common Fitness Injuries and How To Avoid Them

8 Common Fitness Injuries and How To Avoid Them


  1. Strained back

    This is the number one most likely injury. Many people have weak back muscles due to prolonged sitting at work or home and come exercise time, people go too hard or too fast. Above all, lift with your legs, not your back, and gradually strengthen your back muscles with low-intensity exercises.

  2. Strained shoulder

    Your shoulder joints have a large range of motion that allows injuries involving overuse and/or poor posture and technique. Dislocating your shoulder or damaging your rotator cuff can be severely detrimental. Do not push through pain—let your shoulder rest—and strengthen your shoulders with wall push-ups, shoulder presses, and elastic tube resistance training.

  3. ACL/PCL injuries

    More common in athletes, but if you play any sports or do any training with jumping or rapid changing in direction, knee injuries like this are definitely a possibility. A tear in the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) or Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) can take you off your feet for months, and may even require surgery. Warm up, be careful, and exercise caution.

  4. Runner’s knee

    An irritation of the cartilage underneath your kneecap that makes up about 40% of all running injuries. You can prevent this by strengthening your hip, glute, and quad muscles, as well as shortening your stride. Learn to adjust here, not quit.

  5. Achilles Tendinitis

    Your tendon tightens and becomes irritated. You can reduce your risk of this by avoiding a dramatic increase in training and building strength in your calve muscles. After that, as with everything, work up to higher levels and don’t just go for it immediately.

  6. Pulled or torn hamstring

    This can be prevented by strengthening all muscles in your leg, especially your hamstrings. Hamstring issues are usually caused by weak, overly tight, or imbalanced leg muscles. Be careful to stretch and hydrate, and not try and work it too hard or too soon.

  7. Plantar Fasciitis

    This is pain and inflammation of the thick band of tissue, the plantar fascia, which runs through the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone and your toes, and supporting the arch of your foot. This is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The stabbing pain usually emerges in the morning during your first few steps, after standing for a long period of time or standing up from a seated position. Rest, modified workouts, and consulting a physical therapist are the best solutions.

  8. Shin Splints

    The very painful shin splints (felt in shin area) occur when muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around the lower leg bone (tibia) are overworked and become irritated, primarily because of running or aggressive walking. They are usually resolved in a few days with rest, ice, and pain relievers. Prevention is gained through warm-ups and front extension (“gas pedal-type”) stretching. Give these time and rest, and they usually go away.

George Mangum is the Fitness Director at Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group and spends his time helping teens, educators and seniors make fitness a lifestyle. He believes that fitness is the answer, and doesn’t care what the question is.