Joint pain can seriously slow down your progress in strength sports. sports doctor tips will help you to properly train with heavy weights without pain and injury.


Heavy weight training is clearly not designed for the recovery of the body. Sooner or later you will feel that you have sore shoulders, knees, elbows or hips. Some people just do not pay attention and continue to train until something hurts really badly. Most likely, this will be your first encounter with diseases such as tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, and the like.

Rather than endure the discomfort, or take pain, exercise so that the pain does not arise. This will help you 11 tips.

Even if now you do not have pain, these guidelines will help to avoid injuries, treatment and forced breaks in the future.

1. If it hurts – do not do. Look for an alternative exercise

Any sports doctor will tell you that if you feel pain during exercise, making it not worth it. However, this does not mean that you need to do to stop this kind of exercise.

For example, people with problems in the area of the shoulders often experience pain during the lift rod. In this exercise, the shoulders are in the same position, so you can not do bench press without pain.

Bench press can exacerbate pain in the shoulders, so instead try isolated exercises, like “Butterfly” or reduction of arms to the crossover. These exercises involve the pectoral muscles, but slightly change the movement of the shoulders, which helps to avoid unpleasant sensations.


There are other options. “During the bench press bar lying directly instead try to use reverse grip – advises Guillermo Escalante (Guillermo Escalante), Doctor of Natural Sciences, the owner of the physiotherapy center SportsPros in Claremont. – Also well suited dumbbells as they offer greater freedom of movement. It is necessary to move the outlet and leading shoulder muscles by just a few degrees, and the pain will disappear. ”

Moreover, a new study has shown that due to the instability of dumbbell exercises with them greater muscle groups. Because you have to bring the dumbbell back into balance, using the power of their muscles for good load will need less weight than when doing the post.

2. Perform a smooth, controlled motion. Avoid jerking

Any sudden and jerky movement leads to a greater load than the same movement in the classical version (of course, in addition to the explosive movements of weightlifting). In addition, there is nothing that does not overload the inflamed joint, as taking a great weight with poor technique.

If you have sharply rise from the bottom point during squats, pushes her hips neck, raising the bar on the biceps, or pulls the projectile during the traction, joints, ligaments and tendons under stress.

Guillermo Escalante

Guillermo Escalante recommended to reduce the load and work on technique, performing movements slowly, concentrating on them.

3. Use free weights instead of simulators

In simulators has its advantages. For example, they will be useful for beginners, who are not very well hold the balance during exercise with weights.

However, the trainers make you move strictly in a certain way, do not allow the joints to operate freely. Try replacing the trainers on exercises with a barbell, dumbbells or cables block simulator.

4. Warm up before exercise

Tips to warm up before exercise sound as a reminder that you need every day to brush your teeth. But it is very important, especially if you are no longer young . Workout not only helps to lift more weight, but also relaxes the muscles and connective tissues, provides flexibility and allows you to make a lot of movement.

“Warm-up dilates blood vessels, allowing blood flow to the muscles that you engage in training – says Escalante. – Do a 5-10 minute kardiorazminku to increase heart rate, and easy warm-up exercises, but not much muscle groups. Warm-up should be dynamic. Leave static exercises to cool down. ”

5. It is better to increase the voltage time than to train to failure

If you constantly train to failure (inability to perform muscle contraction), even with relatively easy weights, you earn joint problems. At least part of the training is to do not to complete failure of muscles.

Guillermo Escalante

Weight by itself is not so bad for the joints, as a violation of the mechanics of movement during the ascent. Unfortunately, training to failure is often accompanied by deviations from the correct technique.

A recent study showed that muscle hypertrophy to a greater extent depends on the time they spend on their toes, and not from a small number of repetitions with the maximum possible weight.

Better to do 12 slow reps with lighter weight, during which the muscles will be constantly on their toes than 6 reps with as fast a heavy weight.

6. Alternate training to failure with recovery periods

“Some weightlifters love to train with heavy weights and work the muscles to failure on every workout. This is why the majority of techniques designed to increase the intensity, – says Escalante. – If you always train at the maximum, will have to sacrifice something, and this will become a victim of your joints. ”

The best way to avoid it – alternate load. Your muscles will experience stress, but it will be combined with recovery periods – less intense workouts.

Escalante – a big fan of undulating training schemes. Instead of devoting a light heavyweight and recovery training for several weeks, he prefers to alternate these periods within one week of training.

7. Follow the preliminary exercise, to reduce the load

In most cases, you start training with a complex exercise, which involves several joints, such as squats , bench press, deadlift and bench press barbell over his head.

Try to perform the complicated simple exercise that involves only one joint. Before you can do squats straightening the legs on the simulator.


Your quads get tired before you start ups so that you can take less weight and not lose in the results.

For example, if you start with squats, you have to lift 180 kilograms of 8-12 times that provide muscle hypertrophy.

After a preliminary lifting legs you will need to pick up for 140 kilograms, remaining in the range of 8-12 repetitions. Reduced operating weight – reducing the load on the joints.

Preliminary exercises are performed with lighter weights than the basic, which gives the joints and muscles to work more time to warm up. In addition, going to perform basic exercises with a feeling of mild fatigue, you do not hang on the neck too much weight. It will save your joints and at the same time provide the necessary load for muscle growth.

8. Slow down and reduce the number of repetitions of sudden movements

Reducing the repetition rate – is the easiest way to take the pressure off the joints.

Whenever you slow down, you add stress to muscles and joints are saving him. Controlled movements improve muscle hypertrophy, and help get rid of the sharp movements that frequently lead to injury.

Guillermo Escalante

There is a wonderful technique that helps to achieve this – reverse movement. Its essence is to stay for a couple of seconds at the bottom point of the exercise.

For example, you are doing squats. Instead of having to sit down and immediately straightened, as in normal exercise, you first fix the position at the bottom and then climb.

Due to this technique increases the strength in the lower part of the range of motion. Muscles need more efforts to cut from the fixed position.

9. Avoid full straightening of the joints

It is believed that the move is necessary to bring to a conclusion. But when you completely straighten the joint, how often do during the exercises on the chest, triceps and legs, the entire load transferred to it.

“You carry the voltage at the working joint, muscle and thus almost do not work – says Escalante. – The joint as close contact occurs between two adjacent surfaces. This is not good, especially if you pick up 200-400 kg in the machine for the leg press. In addition, it reduces the time which is carried out in muscle tension, hence, it slows down the progress. ”

For example, the last 10-degree lift the legs on the machine provide maximum surface tension, which wears the patella and leads to pain in the knees . The first 10 degrees, too, may contribute to the pain. Escalante advises to stick to the middle of the range of motion.

10. With care use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and prescription drugs

Often, weightlifters and powerlifters before a workout take anti-inflammatory or analgesic agents to get rid of a dull aching pain in the joints.

Numb the pain, you make it worse. Instead, to treat aching joints , you continue to train with high intensity and the wrong technique. In addition, regular use of painkillers is bad for the liver.

11. Increase the intensity gradually

Most powerlifters trying to build muscle with a conventional workout with 8-12 repetitions, but sometimes they try to raise the maximum weight on the bar and added extra 20-30 kilograms. This leads to a significant increase in the load on muscles and connective tissue.

If you have decided on big changes in training and expect muscle adaptation, give the body a chance to adapt. If you are doing 12 repetitions, lower the first number to 10 with a little more weight, then to 8 and up to 6. When you adapt to such stresses, it’s easy to alternate training with 4 and 10 repetitions.

Guillermo Escalante

Escalante also notes that after the intense training the tendons and ligaments are growing more slowly than muscle. They can become the weak link in your body, which is why there is a great risk of injury.

Take care of your joints, do not neglect the warm-up and do not train to failure every time, otherwise you’ll have to finish your way in the power sport much earlier than you had planned.