Does lifting weights cause joint problems?
Lifting weights isn’t just something that bodybuilders do. In fact, it’s something that everyone should do. You may wonder why this is the case, the simple fact is that as you age you naturally lose muscle mass.
A loss in muscle mass equates to your body needing fewer calories on a daily basis. If you continue to eat in the same way you always have you’ll find that you’re putting weight on. That increases the risk of obesity and age-related diseases.
But, you’ll also find that a loss of muscle mass as you age results in less core strength, poorer balance, and your bones are likely to break easier if you fall.
You need a good weight lifting program and this Brunswick heads physio to ensure you don’t encounter any issues along the way.
Of course, that leads us back to the question of whether lifting weights actually causes joint issues.
The short answer is no.
In fact, any type of resistance training, such as lifting weights and bodyweight exercises, can actually help people who already have joint pain.
The reason is simple, lifting weights places strain on your muscles, tendons, and other body parts. This strain causes tiny tears in the muscles. But, this is normal and as your muscles heal they get stronger, it’s the reason why you’re recommended to rest for between 24-48 hours before working the same muscle group again.
Strengthening your muscles and tendons strengthens joint support, improving function and reducing the likelihood of pain.
Done properly, lifting weights is beneficial, you just need to adopt the right approach:
Before you starting any workout you should stretch, ideally for 5-10 minutes. The best stretching exercises before lifting are static stretches, that means you hold the position for approximately 20-30 seconds. This loosens your muscles, tendons, and joints, preparing them for exercise.
Dynamic stretch, where you bounce back and forth, is more likely to strain your muscles, an issue you’ll then compound when you start lifting.
You want to get stronger, that means pushing the heaviest weight that you can live. Unfortunately, this is not the best approach. Lifting weights that are too heavy will increase the likelihood of you being injured.
Lifting weights that are too heavy doesn’t just place unnecessary stress n your muscles and joints, it also encourages bad form, that’s what causes joint aches.
You need a weight that you can lift 10-15 times per set, for 2-3 sets. This will help you to build muscle and stamina without injuring your body.
Cooling down is just as important as warming up. It helps your body start to recover and reduces the likelihood of Delayed Onset Muscle Stiffness, (DOMS).
You shouldn’t lift again for 24-48 hours, this will decrease the chances of muscle or joint issues.
Of course, if you do experience an issue it’s a good idea to seek professional medical help, they can identify the issue and help you to resolve it as quickly as possible.