Has exercise given you painful joints?

Chances are that your form and posture are incorrect when lifting weights at the gym. Here’s how you do it right.

Every doctor and healthcare professional recommends daily exercise for a supple, healthy body. But in one’s zeal to develop sculpted limbs and a taut belly, one may inadvertently exercise wrongly and develop joint pains. The problem is seen more with exercises involving weights.

The following are four of the most common exercises that cause joint pains. Take the following joint pain precautions so that you get the most out of your workout:

1 Squat right. Squats and lunges are great for the hips and thighs, but they can be murder on the lower back and knee joints. These exercises look simple enough to do, but they are quite stressful on the spine, hips, knees and toes. Incorrect form and posture can exacerbate the stress of the squat. This is how you do it: place your feet hip-length apart. Now lower your body by pushing out your buttocks as if sitting in an invisible chair. Squat till your thighs are parallel to the floor, but your knees must not exceed the line of your toes. If you find that your lower back or knees hurt after doing squats correctly, discontinue the exercise instead of risking injury.

2 Bench press correctly. Bench presses help build the chest, arms and shoulders. They are often the preferred exercise for a lot of body builders. However, bench pressing the correct way is not as easy as it looks. When you lie down on the bench, make sure the bar is exactly above your chest (below the shoulders but above the line of your nipples). Square back your shoulders, grip the bar with your wrists placed shoulder width apart, and plant your feet firmly on either side of the bench. Exhale strongly when you lift the bar at the highest point, taking care to bend the elbows slightly. Start with lighter weights before you build muscle strength and joint fitness.

3 Adjust the seat before leg extensions. Doing leg extensions is great for the lower body, but the success of the exercise lies in the right seat adjustment. When you sit on the seat, the back of the chair must rest against your lower back to provide adequate support. If you must tilt back the seat, do it such that the back of the chair is not over 20° inclined, or you will end up straining your back. Keep the back arched when you perform the leg extension.

4 Adjust your arms before lateral pull down. The lateral pull down workout is aimed at strengthening the back and biceps. However, many people do it quite wrong: the movement is slow and rhythmic. Do not pull down the bar quickly, or you will strain both your shoulders and your back. This is how you do it: When you sit, the leg support cushion must be just above your thighs close to your groin. Arch your back, put out your chest and pull down the bar, wrists facing inward. The wrists should be placed slightly out of the line of your shoulders.

Taking the right joint pain precautions is the first step in knowing how to cure joint pain. But if you find that despite working out correctly you have sore or painful joints, it means that there is an underlying medical condition or that there is an injury that needs to be addressed. Most joint pains go away after you use a pain relief cream or spray. But if adequate rest and pain relief creams do not alleviate the pain, it is time to seek joint pain treatment from a specialist.