How to Avoid Exercise Injuries

Learn the 4 common exercise mistakes that cause injuries and the 3 tips you need to stay safe and injury-free when you work out.

Ben Greenfield
5-minute read
Episode #33

Here at Get-Fit Guy, you can learn how to exercise with an ankle or foot injury, exercise with a knee injury, exercise with a low back injury, exercise with a shoulder injury, exercise in the water when you’re injured, and make your exercise injuries less sore. But with all this talk about injuries, it seems prudent to learn how to avoid getting a pesky exercise injury in the first place.>

How to Avoid Exercise Injuries

In this article you’ll learn the 4 common exercise mistakes that cause injuries, how to keep your body injury-free, and 3 tips on how to stay safe when you work out.

Exercise Mistake #1: Seat Height Not Properly Set

In the article “How to Use Weightlifting Machines” I give an introduction to seat height, and mention that before getting started, you need to make sure each machine’s seat is at the right setting for you. That will not only improve the comfort and effectiveness of your exercises, but it will also keep you from injuring your shoulders or lower back.

If the seat is too low on a weight machine, you will arch your back and risk straining your lower back muscles. If the seat is too high, you will risk injuring your shoulders.

If the seat is too low on a bicycle, you can hurt the front of your knees; and if the seat is too high, you can hurt your hips or the sides of your knees.

Here is how to adjust seat height: on a weight machine, line the handles up so that they approximately draw a straight line through your shoulder joint. On a bicycle, adjust the seat so that there is a slight, approximately 30 degree bend in your knees at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

Exercise Mistake #2: Lifting Too Much Weight

Low back strains, shoulder pain, neck injuries and abdominal injuries are often the result of simply lifting too much weight. In the article, “How to Tell If You’re Working Out Hard Enough,” I mention the rule of three.


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.