"Ouch! Crunch! Down for the count. You have just felt a pain in your knee, your back, or your shoulders that you know is not normal. That last rotational side lunge or push up has tweaked your joint and now you either have to see a doctor or you are out of commission for a while.
There are a lot of high intensity videos out there that for someone coming out of being sedentary or just having a baby put you at risk for injury. I am going to be honest, I am concerned as a trainer. I have seen a lot of videos that have exercises that are for more advanced levels. It does not mean to not do them, but you need to A.) find the appropriate video for your level and to B.) learn how to prepare your body for these types of exercises.
The first 3-4 months with a client I work on correcting muscle imbalances. Say for example, your adductor (or inner thigh) muscle is tight, it pulls your knee inward which puts it in a vulnerable position. Do a side lunge or squat with this imbalance and you are likely to get hurt.
Here are some of the things you can do to protect yourself:
Learn about SMR (Self Myofascial Release). Ever visit a massage therapist and get a pressure point massage? You can do it to your self. I know that sounds painful, but most of us have knots in our major muscles that tug on our joints. Doing SMR helps break them up and is a must if you are training hard. Here is a link to learn more: http://thefitgirls.com/selfmyofascialrelease.aspx
Stop the video after the warm up and do your own stretches. Most videos don't do a stretching routine for lack of time and if they do, it is too short and not really going to help you. Here is a link to my guide on stretching: http://thefitgirls.com/gettingstarted.aspx
Find the appropriate level for you. Because of wanting to help you burn the most amount of calories in the smallest amount of time, most videos compete to help you "Shred" and "Sweat" and "Burn". Long term studies are finding these are not self sustaining options anymore and buyers stop a couple of months into a routine because of injury or burn out. Why not start smaller and build up the stamina you need to sustain your activities? My favorite workout video as a trainer is, believe it or not, Gunnar Peterson's "Core Secrets". He uses terminology that I like to hear, "proper form". He is an amazing trainer, especially for beginners, and with just a stability ball and weights he creates a circuit that is intense but not too crazy. http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&search-alias=dvd&ref=dp_dvd_bl_act&field-keywords=Gunnar%20Peterson
A lot of women don't like the gym and get their workouts done in the privacy of their own home. I love to do this, as well. I encourage you to keep on what you are doing, but try the SMR and stretching routines and re-evaluate if your routine is right for you.
Keep safe, get in shape, and be who you were called to be!
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