How to Avoid Common Exercise Injuries Midlife

From a listener in the Flipping 50 Insider’s Group: It would be great if Debra could share some information about common exercise injuries. 

So here it is and I’m diving right in after this invitation. I’ve been sharing soundbites of short exercise tips on Instagram at @flipping50tv. I invite you to IG to see all of those. If there’s a particular exercise that you’re looking for, chances are I’ve given a tip on recently. They’re less than a minute, but I think you’ll find that’s perfect. 

My IG Tips to Avoid Common Exercise Injuries

Click here to go to my Instagram account:   https://www.instagram.com/flipping50tv

If lunge is your nemesis? I’ve created an entire series of videos that will help you decide if lunges, which lunges, and how; or if not lunges, which exercises are good substitutes so you can work the same muscles pain-free. CLICK HERE to the FREE LUNGES: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em series.

Avoid too much too soon. Your body requires about 6-8 weeks at least to adapt to stress. Though your muscles and mind can feel ready for more, your joints and ligaments are not. Without a strong foundation in the connective tissue, you may accelerate quickly, only to find you’re set back with an injury. 

If you’re prone to injury, or you’re very deconditioned or have an autoimmune disease: 

  • Start one set, higher repetitions (20-25)
  • Increase to two sets, same repetitions
  • Next, do two sets with a reduction in rep range (15 – 20 = higher weight) 
  • Then three sets with the same repetitions
  • Then gradually increase the weight until you’re at the desired number of repetitions 
  • Still, you may always want to play with periods of heavier weight and fewer repetitions and periods of lighter weight with more repetition. 

This is sometimes much easier if you’re busy, to follow a program designed either for you personally, or follow a program. Just do your due diligence… is it a made-for-you program based on research on women just like you? 

The differences between men’s and women’s fuel use, muscle use in the same exercises, and the way they recover from exercise are not the same. In midlife during extreme hormone fluctuation, and after reduction, the optimal training schedule that is yours is not the same as a mouse, man, or young woman. 

If you begin a program already tired, or dieting, you may also need to look at the role of exercise differently. There are times when exercise should be the catalyst to help you have a better appetite, more stable blood sugar, or improve your sleep. And nothing more… until you are able to improve your overall health and lifestyle habits. 

Start with a good look at:

  • Your basic nutrition status
  • Micronutrient deficiencies are common among those who have dieted chronically and don’t test micronutrient sufficiency to know what changes or supplementation they need. 
  • Sleep quality & quantity 
  • Cravings & Crashes – if these exist, adding significant exercise stress is not likely to help you but might throw you under the bus. So either a light strength training component, lighter weights higher reps and just one or two sets to start, or even beginning with foundational activities like walking or yoga instead may serve you best through this time. 
  • Beyond that, when you’re performing an exercise, you need to know the good technique. 

What Is a Good Technique?

A squat is not a squat. Some common exercise injuries occur because of poor choice of exercise and some because of poor performance of an exercise. 

The weight should be solidly on the heels of the feet. The position is a hinge at the hips so that you are sitting back. The knees move only slightly forward. 

If weight is felt significantly in the quadriceps and not at all in the glutes, check in the with where you’re weight-bearing in the feet again. 

Then there are many versions of squats. A recent study I shared on Instagram as I demonstrated a squat progression featured:

  •   Box squats
  •   Wall sits
  •   Counter balanced squats
  •   Goblet Squats 
  •   Landmine Squats 

And women who are more quad dominant than men overall may do best choosing a landmine squat because it encourages more hamstring use. And you want to be sure if you’re using quadriceps in an exercise as a female you always have at least one hamstring-focused exercise. 

Those are: 

  •  Single leg deadlifts
  •  Hamstring curls (at home with a ball)
  • Bridge to a ball (more hamstring activation than the bridge on the floor) 

Likewise, when I scroll through social media posts and observe some of the fitness influencers performing exercises, it’s clear that even they don’t know what good technique is. Yet, thousands are following. 

Social media is the wild west. Anyone can call themselves a fitness professional. Anyone can do any exercise in any way they want to. 

More Questions About Common Exercise Injuries?

There you are, we skimmed the surface of how to avoid exercise injuries midlife. It’s not just the exercise. If you’re already imbalanced, sleep-deprived, coasting on coffee, eating fake food, and not enough high-quality nutrient-dense whole food, exercise injuries are more likely. 

When it comes to exercise, begin smart and slow with a weekly plan that honors hormones. I do a 10-Day Hot, Not Bothered Challenge infrequently throughout the year, to learn when it’s open for yourself or a friend, click to show notes for the link at flippingfifty.com/hnb-challenge.

Drop your questions below the show notes. I love to hear from you. 

Resources: 

10-Day Hot, Not Bothered Challenge: https://www.flippingfifty.com/hnb-challenge

FREE PDF Muscles in Minutes: https://www.flipping50tv.com 

 Annmarie Skincare: https://www.flippingfifty.com/bogoskin

Additional Episodes You Might Like: 

Why Such Frequent Exercise Injuries in Midlife| Ask the Menopause Fitness Coach

Your Menopause Workout vs Your 30-something Workout

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