Beginners > The Most Common Exercise Injuries & How to Avoid Them
You're in Beginners

The Most Common Exercise Injuries & How to Avoid Them

30th Mar 20

Exercising is one of the best things that you could ever do for your body, but sometimes, it goes wrong. It’s only natural, but injuries and accidents happen even with exercise. You’re putting stress on your body to improve your physical health, and from time to time, mistakes are made, and injuries occur.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s just something you need to accept. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. By learning about these common accidents that happen with exercise and training and what causes them, you give yourself a fighting chance. You learn what to avoid and why and the precautions you can take to stop it. It’s vital info to have.

To get the ball rolling, let’s take a look at what these injuries you’re at risk of really are.

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

  1. Pulled Muscle
  2. Runners Knee
  3. Elbow Tendinosis/itis
  4. Wrist Tendonitis
  5. Rotator Cuff & Frozen Shoulder
  6. Back Strain
  7. Sprains
  8. Torn/Ruptured Muscles

1. Pulled Muscle

Woman with Injured thigh

Pulled muscles are probably the most common injuries that occur in your exercise training. It’s so easy for it to happen, especially if you’re not preparing your body for exercise before you begin. That’s why warming up and cooling down are so important. You literally tear or overstretch your Muscle, which causes damage for days to weeks and can cause you a great deal of discomfort depending on where it is.

The most obvious and easy way to combat a pulled muscle is to properly warm up and cool down before you do anything. Pre-exercise, warming up for just 5 minutes can make a huge difference. Daily stretches are also a good idea to help fight injuries outside of your training too.

2. Runner’s Knee

Man holding injured knee

Runner’s knee is one of the most common injuries that occur during exercise. Despite being named runners knee, it does happen for a vast range of reasons and actually covers a broad range of injuries related to the knee. It can be anything from walking right through to HIIT training, so be aware of it.

The most common causes of these injuries are overuse, lack of preparation, and even accidental damage such as falls like on a treadmill. The best thing you can do here is to make sure you warm up as always and get better form. Make sure your technique is spot-on in whatever you do, and get the best shoes for the job. Another great call is to make sure you don’t overdo it. Take those rest days!

3. Elbow tendinosis/itis

Your elbows are actually in a similar position to your knees here. Elbows go through a massive amount of trauma throughout your training as they are used so widely throughout a range of different exercises. Your back, shoulders, chest, and arms all rely massively on your elbows, and whether they are moving or locked, exercise can really take its toll.

Overuse is the easiest way for tendinitis to occur through repetitive strain since the elbows are often under so much pressure. As you begin to lift heavier weights, this gets even worse. Ensure you’re preventing elbow injury by giving your ligaments, tendons and muscles time to rest, or this will occur at some point or another.

4. Wrist Tendonitis

wrist wrapped in bandage from injury

Tendinitis doesn’t stop there either, and the next joint in line is your wrist. Tendonitis occurs so often that many people shrug it off, but it can worsen if left untreated. Overuse is again the most common cause of this, but there are exercises such as push-ups and even squats in some cases that force your wrists into positions they shouldn’t be in. That’s asking for trouble if you do it often.

The same applies as in the previous injury here if you are going to have a chance to avoid this. It’s not as common as an elbow injury just from exercise alone, but your wrists aren’t as strong as your elbows either. Rest and strengthening exercises are essential. Take it easy.

5. Rotator Cuff & Frozen Shoulder

Woman holding injured shoulder outside

Shoulder injuries are far too common in exercise, with the rotator cuff being the biggest culprit regarding injured areas. Unfortunately, the rotator cuff is frequently forgotten, especially when using big weights with bad form. It’s inevitable when you move in a way you’re not supposed to.

Dips and upright rows are likely to be the worst for this, as well as behind the head exercises, which force your shoulder to move in a way it wasn’t designed. The more you do it, the more likely it becomes. Watch out for your form, and don’t overextend.

6. Back strain

woman sat on a weight bench holding lower back

Straining your back is one of the most impractical injuries that you can sustain from exercise. It’s so easy to do because of the amount of effort that you need from your back and the automatic involvement whenever you’re doing an exercise with bad form. Undertraining other areas, too, like your core, can often mean that your back needs to do more work than you realise. Undertraining is always going to result in injuries and accidents, so make sure you use exercises to prevent it.

Make sure that you’re adequately training every Muscle to avoid back injury, especially your lower back, and that you’re not lifting too heavy on anything or overtraining. Ensure your legs, hamstrings especially, are stretched too; otherwise, you’ll quickly see problems again.

7. Sprains

Person holding ankle after sprain

A sprain is the damaging of a ligament, most commonly in the ankles, knees, elbows or shoulders, where they twist or jerk awkwardly. This generally occurs through impact damage such as a fall, most often with running being the cause. When you do fall, it’s incredibly easy to overstretch the ligament, which causes tearing and is extremely painful, probably preventing you from using the affected area until you’re completely healed.

In all honesty, there’s not too much that you can do to stop this one. The best thing is to avoid not training too hard and stick to your capabilities. Despite this, accidents happen, so just be as careful as you can be. Take your time, don’t rush, and don’t overtrain.

8. Torn/Ruptured Muscles

Woman clutching pec muscle in pain

Sprains aren’t the worst thing that can happen to you either. That’s where tears and ruptures come into play. They are bad news and can take you out of your exercise routine for months. These are some of the most painful and debilitating exercise injuries that you can get from your training other than breaks or spinal injuries, so beware.

The most common place they to occur is the pecs from bad bench press form and too heavy a weight. The tendons attaching the pec muscle to the bone tear, and you feel it happen. Surgery is usually the treatment for the damage, depending on how severe the injury is too. Make sure you really know what you’re doing before even trying heavyweights. Go at your own pace and really take care.


All of these injuries are pretty awful to experience, regardless of their severity. However, you need to take care of your body if you want to keep in good shape; otherwise, you could do more damage than good in the long run.

If you take away anything from this article, make sure that it’s that you warm up properly before exercise, use proper form while you do exercise, and seek help or advice if you notice anything wrong as soon as you can. The more you ignore it, the worse it will likely become.

Don’t be afraid to take time out now and again, or even lower the intensity of your training to make sure you’re nailing it every time. Rest is crucial to your recovery too, so ensure that you take the right amount of time out and that you aren’t overtraining if you want to keep your body healthy.

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.