Every time I work out I hurt myself...help please

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Okay, so here's the brief background.

I grew up on a farm and my early life consisted of a TON of manual labor not meant for a small malnourished body. I ended up needing physical therapy at the age of 15 due to already-complicated back problems.

As an adult I derped my way around fitness; I'm an avid biker and that was always my default exercise but I've been trying to get into lifting weights. I love it more than I can tell; I totally zone out at the gym and go into beast mode and all is right with the world.

The problem is that I beast mode too hard. I don't have any training on these things. I end up with a pulled muscle one week, low back pain the next week, and it just feels like everything I do is wrong. I youtube videos on form, but don't really know what else to do to improve. It's so frustrating because I work out for a week only to end up hurt so badly I have to abandon the gym for a week or two, and that just kills my motivation.

My back problems are pretty fun to list; reverse c spine, kyphosis, hyperlordosis, anterior pelvic tilt, and apparently my head leans too far to the right. I do see a chiropractor who does a pretty specific kind of chiropractic (NUCCA) and it's definitely helped, but still...I've seen him for over a year and progress is slow at best on all these issues.

Things like yoga are particularly uncomfortable for me, because of my inflexibility and weakness. I've been thinking about trying pilates because I know a lot of my back problems can be solved by strengthening my core. I want to keep going to the gym because well...I love it there, it's my sanctuary, but at this point I'm afraid to do anything more than run on the elliptical because I'm tired of getting injuries.

Any tips you guys have are appreciated and welcomed. I am a pretty smart person I'd like to think, but in the realm of strengthening my body I fully admit to being a dimwit. But I am a dimwit ready to take advice.
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Replies

  • SweatLikeDog
    SweatLikeDog Posts: 272 Member
    Options
    Whatever beast mode means to you, it's probably a better idea to start gradually with short, low intensity workouts and very gradually increase reps, intensity, etc. Try bodyweight exercises to better develop your functional strength and balance.
  • brianpperkins
    brianpperkins Posts: 6,124 Member
    Options
    Learn proper form ... learn self discipline ... combine the two.
  • MelissaPhippsFeagins
    MelissaPhippsFeagins Posts: 8,063 Member
    Options
    Pay for a month with a person all trainer. You need someone to watch and correct you as you go, before you hurt yourself.
  • macgurlnet
    macgurlnet Posts: 1,946 Member
    Options
    If you want to do strength training, it sounds like you would really benefit from a few sessions with a personal trainer. That can be a bit expensive, but he/she can help you make sure you've got proper form and don't push yourself too hard. Check with your gym and find out how much it would cost.

    It sounds like your main problem is pushing too hard - looking to get results and pushing yourself too far beyond your body's current limitations. I totally get that it's frustrating, but you HAVE to listen to your body and just go a little beyond what it can do right now, not miles past that point. Generally, if it hurts, stop RIGHT THEN and don't do it anymore. Over time, you'll get more familiar with what you can and can't do and will know the difference between "this hurts because I'm not used to it yet" and "this hurts and is going to become an injury if I don't back off."

    Pilates and yoga both require some strength, too. Many yoga poses can be modified to what YOU'RE comfortable with and you can gradually work your way towards "proper" form. The whole point of yoga is to increase flexibility so your lack thereof initially is totally ok! Did you go to the class or just workout at home? Attending a class might be the way to go.

    My upper body strength is abysmal at present, but I've just been modifying my yoga workouts to accommodate - holding poses for less time, using yoga blocks/benches to modify poses, etc, until I can start lifting and get some strength in my arms!

    Best of luck :)

    ~Lyssa
  • theutahdesertfox
    theutahdesertfox Posts: 96 Member
    Options
    Learn proper form ... learn self discipline ... combine the two.

    No *kitten*, sherlock....
  • theutahdesertfox
    theutahdesertfox Posts: 96 Member
    Options
    macgurlnet wrote: »
    If you want to do strength training, it sounds like you would really benefit from a few sessions with a personal trainer. That can be a bit expensive, but he/she can help you make sure you've got proper form and don't push yourself too hard. Check with your gym and find out how much it would cost.

    It sounds like your main problem is pushing too hard - looking to get results and pushing yourself too far beyond your body's current limitations. I totally get that it's frustrating, but you HAVE to listen to your body and just go a little beyond what it can do right now, not miles past that point. Generally, if it hurts, stop RIGHT THEN and don't do it anymore. Over time, you'll get more familiar with what you can and can't do and will know the difference between "this hurts because I'm not used to it yet" and "this hurts and is going to become an injury if I don't back off."

    Pilates and yoga both require some strength, too. Many yoga poses can be modified to what YOU'RE comfortable with and you can gradually work your way towards "proper" form. The whole point of yoga is to increase flexibility so your lack thereof initially is totally ok! Did you go to the class or just workout at home? Attending a class might be the way to go.

    My upper body strength is abysmal at present, but I've just been modifying my yoga workouts to accommodate - holding poses for less time, using yoga blocks/benches to modify poses, etc, until I can start lifting and get some strength in my arms!

    Best of luck :)

    ~Lyssa

    Thanks for this. I really don't have the money for a personal trainer but, I should definitely find some way to cough it up. I don't think that my youtubeing is really doing much good. It's just so many things to remember--and I have thyroid disease so my memory is bad to start with. But the thing is it doesn't ever hurt at the gym, it feels great. It's always about three days later that my lower back feels like somebody put a shotgun up to it and pulled the trigger...or I can't lift my left arm...you know...haha fun stuff like that.

    I've tried yoga classes and they're just awful to me. Firstly I'm not into the whole hippie thing, I don't know what it means to "breathe into your hips" or whatever, and I've been chastised for not 'ohming' and also for not getting my own brick/blanket--I don't know anything about modified poses and when the teacher came to help me she was flustered and visibly annoyed that she was disrupting class to help a newbie. So yeah, yoga is basically a no go. I do try some classes at home, where I do the poses extra bad ;) but I like to stretch. And the people in the videos don't make a fool out of me so that's always a plus.

    Anyway thanks for the advice!
  • brianpperkins
    brianpperkins Posts: 6,124 Member
    Options
    Learn proper form ... learn self discipline ... combine the two.

    No *kitten*, sherlock....

    So you don't just lack self discipline in the weight room as evident here.

    No amount of lessons from a trainer will help until you learn to operate within limits unless you plan on having somebody there to restrain you every time you choose to go into "beast mode".
  • theutahdesertfox
    theutahdesertfox Posts: 96 Member
    Options
    Pay for a month with a person all trainer. You need someone to watch and correct you as you go, before you hurt yourself.

    Yeah, I think this is as valuable as it gets. I've already learned that youtube trainers can only tell me so much (and they all say different things anyway, go this low for a squat, don't do this exercise it's useless, etc etc) Time to work some overtime and save up I guess....
  • theutahdesertfox
    theutahdesertfox Posts: 96 Member
    Options
    Whatever beast mode means to you, it's probably a better idea to start gradually with short, low intensity workouts and very gradually increase reps, intensity, etc. Try bodyweight exercises to better develop your functional strength and balance.

    Thanks for the reply. Since I've been injured I have been focused on bodyweight exercises which is probably where I should have started. I will focus on that for now and look into selling a first born for a personal trainer. And what I meant by 'beast mode' was essentially that I zone out and hit all the machines and go into zen mode, which might be why I'm injuring myself too, I probably am doing too much/too many reps/all that. I guess being scatterbrained does not make for a good gentle beginner workout.
  • theutahdesertfox
    theutahdesertfox Posts: 96 Member
    Options
    Learn proper form ... learn self discipline ... combine the two.

    No *kitten*, sherlock....

    So you don't just lack self discipline in the weight room as evident here.

    No amount of lessons from a trainer will help until you learn to operate within limits unless you plan on having somebody there to restrain you every time you choose to go into "beast mode".

    The amount of smugness on this site, I always forget about it. Haha. Go run and preach somewhere else.

    I post saying "I don't know proper form"

    Your response

    "Learn proper form"

    Genius. Why aren't you running the country?!?!?!
  • kpodaru
    kpodaru Posts: 133 Member
    edited May 2015
    Options
    always start light. yes, 3lbs seems so easy but you can actually use 3lbs to get cut if you know how to do it. one drill that my muay thai trainer does is a shoulder drill with 3lbs weights and by the end of that drill, that 3lbs feels like 30!

    if you're always injuring yourself, then start light; maybe not 3lbs but 5lbs at first. figure out what you want to do ie. build arms (tris, bis, forearm) and then youtube the exercises so you can see the proper form. replay as much as you want to see how they do it, then head to the gym and use those light weights to lift; get the form right with lighter weights. do 15, 12, 10 reps with the light weight.

    as you get better with form and get used to it, increase weight slightly. form is SO IMPORTANT. i see so many people trying to lift heavy and their form is crap so they're actually not even working the muscle they want to work (also dangerous as they can really hurt themselves). good luck!
  • rejectuf
    rejectuf Posts: 487 Member
    Options
    Strengthen your core. Do yoga/pilates to help with this and your flexibility. Work on planks, sit ups, cable crunches, etc.

    It's no substitute for proper form, but good flexibility and core strength can help you keep proper form.

    Dial back your weights. Focus on going very slow and controlled, activating the muscles that should be activated.
  • macgurlnet
    macgurlnet Posts: 1,946 Member
    edited May 2015
    Options
    macgurlnet wrote: »
    If you want to do strength training, it sounds like you would really benefit from a few sessions with a personal trainer. That can be a bit expensive, but he/she can help you make sure you've got proper form and don't push yourself too hard. Check with your gym and find out how much it would cost.

    It sounds like your main problem is pushing too hard - looking to get results and pushing yourself too far beyond your body's current limitations. I totally get that it's frustrating, but you HAVE to listen to your body and just go a little beyond what it can do right now, not miles past that point. Generally, if it hurts, stop RIGHT THEN and don't do it anymore. Over time, you'll get more familiar with what you can and can't do and will know the difference between "this hurts because I'm not used to it yet" and "this hurts and is going to become an injury if I don't back off."

    Pilates and yoga both require some strength, too. Many yoga poses can be modified to what YOU'RE comfortable with and you can gradually work your way towards "proper" form. The whole point of yoga is to increase flexibility so your lack thereof initially is totally ok! Did you go to the class or just workout at home? Attending a class might be the way to go.

    My upper body strength is abysmal at present, but I've just been modifying my yoga workouts to accommodate - holding poses for less time, using yoga blocks/benches to modify poses, etc, until I can start lifting and get some strength in my arms!

    Best of luck :)

    ~Lyssa

    Thanks for this. I really don't have the money for a personal trainer but, I should definitely find some way to cough it up. I don't think that my youtubeing is really doing much good. It's just so many things to remember--and I have thyroid disease so my memory is bad to start with. But the thing is it doesn't ever hurt at the gym, it feels great. It's always about three days later that my lower back feels like somebody put a shotgun up to it and pulled the trigger...or I can't lift my left arm...you know...haha fun stuff like that.

    I've tried yoga classes and they're just awful to me. Firstly I'm not into the whole hippie thing, I don't know what it means to "breathe into your hips" or whatever, and I've been chastised for not 'ohming' and also for not getting my own brick/blanket--I don't know anything about modified poses and when the teacher came to help me she was flustered and visibly annoyed that she was disrupting class to help a newbie. So yeah, yoga is basically a no go. I do try some classes at home, where I do the poses extra bad ;) but I like to stretch. And the people in the videos don't make a fool out of me so that's always a plus.

    Anyway thanks for the advice!

    Find out how much you need to spend for a session with a trainer. Make note and save up.

    Do you log your workouts? If not, maybe it's time to write down every single thing you're doing, including type of activity, amount of weights and number of reps. When you find that you're miserable later on, look at what you did the last time and do less weight and/or reps the next time. Keep doing that until you feel sore at MOST - you should still be able to move. Talk to your doctor/chiropractor about working out - I have a friend with back issues and he's often really sore after doing lifting, but the pain he's in is expected given his issues. Make sure you know what is "normal" and what's cause for concern.

    Follow a program for lifting. Don't necessarily do the exact same routine every day. I've seen Strong Curves, Stronglifts 5x5 and New Rules of Lifting for Women recommended here. Look those up, check out the programs and FOLLOW THEM. Your body needs the recovery time.

    Yoga isn't a hippie thing. The deep breathing helps keep you calm, focused and relaxed during the poses so you feel less strain. Sounds like you had a bad class, which is a pity.

    I do workouts at home through my DailyBurn subscription and they're awesome, but I also am familiar with the limitations of my body and know when to stop pushing. You need to make that a priority so you don't keep injuring yourself. Repeated injuries just make everything worse in the end.

    ~Lyssa

  • brianpperkins
    brianpperkins Posts: 6,124 Member
    Options
    Learn proper form ... learn self discipline ... combine the two.

    No *kitten*, sherlock....

    So you don't just lack self discipline in the weight room as evident here.

    No amount of lessons from a trainer will help until you learn to operate within limits unless you plan on having somebody there to restrain you every time you choose to go into "beast mode".

    The amount of smugness on this site, I always forget about it. Haha. Go run and preach somewhere else.

    I post saying "I don't know proper form"

    Your response

    "Learn proper form"

    Genius. Why aren't you running the country?!?!?!

    You didn't make that quote in your OP. Now you're lying to go with your childish attacks.
  • theutahdesertfox
    theutahdesertfox Posts: 96 Member
    Options
    kpodaru wrote: »
    always start light. yes, 3lbs seems so easy but you can actually use 3lbs to get cut if you know how to do it. one drill that my muay thai trainer does is a shoulder drill with 3lbs weights and by the end of that drill, that 3lbs feels like 30!

    if you're always injuring yourself, then start light; maybe not 3lbs but 5lbs at first. figure out what you want to do ie. build arms (tris, bis, forearm) and then youtube the exercises so you can see the proper form. replay as much as you want to see how they do it, then head to the gym and use those light weights to lift; get the form right with lighter weights. do 15, 12, 10 reps with the light weight.

    as you get better with form and get used to it, increase weight slightly. form is SO IMPORTANT. i see so many people trying to lift heavy and their form is crap so they're actually not even working the muscle they want to work (also dangerous as they can really hurt themselves). good luck!

    That's awesome. I would love to see that routine.

    And yes, that's what I'm learning. The problem is, you get into that research mode where you watch all the videos, and I've literally heard youtube trainers say the exact opposite things in regard to form and posture. It's...difficult. I'm one of those people who goes 1000000000% research before I do something so I finally just said screw it and did my own thing.

    ...and failed. Haha.

    I'll be looking into personal trainers, hopefully this month. Thanks again for your advice c:
  • MelodyandBarbells
    MelodyandBarbells Posts: 7,725 Member
    Options
    macgurlnet wrote: »
    If you want to do strength training, it sounds like you would really benefit from a few sessions with a personal trainer. That can be a bit expensive, but he/she can help you make sure you've got proper form and don't push yourself too hard. Check with your gym and find out how much it would cost.

    It sounds like your main problem is pushing too hard - looking to get results and pushing yourself too far beyond your body's current limitations. I totally get that it's frustrating, but you HAVE to listen to your body and just go a little beyond what it can do right now, not miles past that point. Generally, if it hurts, stop RIGHT THEN and don't do it anymore. Over time, you'll get more familiar with what you can and can't do and will know the difference between "this hurts because I'm not used to it yet" and "this hurts and is going to become an injury if I don't back off."

    Pilates and yoga both require some strength, too. Many yoga poses can be modified to what YOU'RE comfortable with and you can gradually work your way towards "proper" form. The whole point of yoga is to increase flexibility so your lack thereof initially is totally ok! Did you go to the class or just workout at home? Attending a class might be the way to go.

    My upper body strength is abysmal at present, but I've just been modifying my yoga workouts to accommodate - holding poses for less time, using yoga blocks/benches to modify poses, etc, until I can start lifting and get some strength in my arms!

    Best of luck :)

    ~Lyssa

    Thanks for this. I really don't have the money for a personal trainer but, I should definitely find some way to cough it up. I don't think that my youtubeing is really doing much good. It's just so many things to remember--and I have thyroid disease so my memory is bad to start with. But the thing is it doesn't ever hurt at the gym, it feels great. It's always about three days later that my lower back feels like somebody put a shotgun up to it and pulled the trigger...or I can't lift my left arm...you know...haha fun stuff like that.

    I've tried yoga classes and they're just awful to me. Firstly I'm not into the whole hippie thing, I don't know what it means to "breathe into your hips" or whatever, and I've been chastised for not 'ohming' and also for not getting my own brick/blanket--I don't know anything about modified poses and when the teacher came to help me she was flustered and visibly annoyed that she was disrupting class to help a newbie. So yeah, yoga is basically a no go. I do try some classes at home, where I do the poses extra bad ;) but I like to stretch. And the people in the videos don't make a fool out of me so that's always a plus.

    Anyway thanks for the advice!

    Sounds like you stumbled across an awful yoga instructor. If you go see another one, try to go early, let them know you've not done much yoga and let them know of your issues. They'll need to give you modifications as you go along. I took yoga for a long time in my gym - they had mats, bricks everything. You could bring your own, but it's not expected in all locations by any means

    You can do this. Don't let an evil mean *kitten* scare you off...
  • 999tigger
    999tigger Posts: 5,235 Member
    Options
    If you dont know proper form have you done some research to show you? Mu #1 priority is to do things safely as an injury is a disaster and takes me out of exercise completely plus could have serious consequences. Thats why proper form is worth spending time on for me. If you cnat find it on youtube, then surely there are umpteen yoga sites or use the library?
  • retirehappy
    retirehappy Posts: 4,754 Member
    Options
    Have you found the Eat, Train, Progress group yet? They have great info there:
    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/group/10118-eat-train-progress
    it is a great place to start.

    That yoga teacher should not be teaching or you went to an advanced class. I have never had a yoga instructor act that way. Pilates will be harder on your back issues than yoga, once you can do good stretching, then think about a Pilates.
  • theutahdesertfox
    theutahdesertfox Posts: 96 Member
    Options
    Learn proper form ... learn self discipline ... combine the two.

    No *kitten*, sherlock....

    So you don't just lack self discipline in the weight room as evident here.

    No amount of lessons from a trainer will help until you learn to operate within limits unless you plan on having somebody there to restrain you every time you choose to go into "beast mode".

    The amount of smugness on this site, I always forget about it. Haha. Go run and preach somewhere else.

    I post saying "I don't know proper form"

    Your response

    "Learn proper form"

    Genius. Why aren't you running the country?!?!?!

    You didn't make that quote in your OP. Now you're lying to go with your childish attacks.

    I'm lying? LOL. I think everybody here can read and understand that's exactly what I've said. And unlike you, they offered concrete steps on HOW to get proper form. You're pathetic man. Go somewhere else with your attitude.
  • theutahdesertfox
    theutahdesertfox Posts: 96 Member
    Options
    JaneiR36 wrote: »
    macgurlnet wrote: »
    If you want to do strength training, it sounds like you would really benefit from a few sessions with a personal trainer. That can be a bit expensive, but he/she can help you make sure you've got proper form and don't push yourself too hard. Check with your gym and find out how much it would cost.

    It sounds like your main problem is pushing too hard - looking to get results and pushing yourself too far beyond your body's current limitations. I totally get that it's frustrating, but you HAVE to listen to your body and just go a little beyond what it can do right now, not miles past that point. Generally, if it hurts, stop RIGHT THEN and don't do it anymore. Over time, you'll get more familiar with what you can and can't do and will know the difference between "this hurts because I'm not used to it yet" and "this hurts and is going to become an injury if I don't back off."

    Pilates and yoga both require some strength, too. Many yoga poses can be modified to what YOU'RE comfortable with and you can gradually work your way towards "proper" form. The whole point of yoga is to increase flexibility so your lack thereof initially is totally ok! Did you go to the class or just workout at home? Attending a class might be the way to go.

    My upper body strength is abysmal at present, but I've just been modifying my yoga workouts to accommodate - holding poses for less time, using yoga blocks/benches to modify poses, etc, until I can start lifting and get some strength in my arms!

    Best of luck :)

    ~Lyssa

    Thanks for this. I really don't have the money for a personal trainer but, I should definitely find some way to cough it up. I don't think that my youtubeing is really doing much good. It's just so many things to remember--and I have thyroid disease so my memory is bad to start with. But the thing is it doesn't ever hurt at the gym, it feels great. It's always about three days later that my lower back feels like somebody put a shotgun up to it and pulled the trigger...or I can't lift my left arm...you know...haha fun stuff like that.

    I've tried yoga classes and they're just awful to me. Firstly I'm not into the whole hippie thing, I don't know what it means to "breathe into your hips" or whatever, and I've been chastised for not 'ohming' and also for not getting my own brick/blanket--I don't know anything about modified poses and when the teacher came to help me she was flustered and visibly annoyed that she was disrupting class to help a newbie. So yeah, yoga is basically a no go. I do try some classes at home, where I do the poses extra bad ;) but I like to stretch. And the people in the videos don't make a fool out of me so that's always a plus.

    Anyway thanks for the advice!

    Sounds like you stumbled across an awful yoga instructor. If you go see another one, try to go early, let them know you've not done much yoga and let them know of your issues. They'll need to give you modifications as you go along. I took yoga for a long time in my gym - they had mats, bricks everything. You could bring your own, but it's not expected in all locations by any means

    You can do this. Don't let an evil mean *kitten* scare you off...


    Thank you for this <3 The thing is, I've tried going to yoga multiple times, because I know that my lack of flexibility is a problem. That class just stands out as one of many failures. I am self conscious as it is, due to my lack of mobility, but I'm unfamiliar with yoga terms and yoga culture as a whole. And if anyone says "there's no such thing as yoga culture" they're totally full of it. I just didn't enjoy anything about it other than the actual stretches themselves--I felt stressed, anxious, and stupid. And that's in several different yoga centers. Several different "new student" orientations. Basically yoga in a class setting is just not for me.