When Is Pain During a Workout Bad?

When it comes to workouts, pain doesn't always equal gain. Find out when pain during a workout might raise red flags. 

Ben Greenfield,
February 9, 2013

When Is Pain During a Workout Bad?

If you want to maximize fat loss or muscle gain, sometimes workouts have to hurt just a little bit—meaning you may be breathing harder than is comfortable, or your muscles may be burning. While a little hurt is OK, pain is a different story. In other words, pain does not always equal gain.

Here are some signs that you should stop working out or change to a new exercise and get a doctor, chiropractor, trainer, or therapist to check out what’s going on:

  • Shooting pain in wrist while doing biceps curls

  • Knee “catching” in a way that makes you cringe while cycling

  • Any pain in the back of your knees while squatting

  • Pain in your tailbone while doing ab exercises

  • Neck or back pain while doing an overhead shoulder press

  • Lower back pain while doing down dog in yoga

  • Pain in the front of the shoulder while doing push-ups

  • Sharp pain in the calves while doing calf raises

The symptoms above are the most common indicators that you should seek professional help, but any sharp pain, stabbing pain, or burning lasting more than 2-3 minutes should not be ignored, as it can be a sign of ligament, tendon, or cartilage damage that can get more serious if you don’t do anything about it.

If you have more questions about when pain is bad during a workout, leave them on the Facebook.com/GetFitGuy page!

Runner with ankle injury from Shutterstock

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