Stop Hurting Yourself: Secrets Revealed To Prevent Exercise Injuries

  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Muscle tenderness
  • Shin splints
  • Stress fracture

Just a few common issues I see spring up from time to time when working with clients. Most of us have experienced something on that list at some point.


Aches and pains are common which is sad because most of them are preventable.

Yes, if you take just 5 minutes, you can actually relieve the aches in your knees or the tight sensations you feel in your hips. Yet, I feel like a broken record when talking about preventative care… no one wants to take action until there is actually pain to treat.

I used to be the person that would fight through the pain, I would take a deep breath and remind myself I wasn’t a sissy.

Then I Learned That Was Stupid


Stupidity leads to worst aches and pains… the kind of aches and pains that will have you sidelined from your favorite activities.

Here’s what else I learned…

That not many people understand the difference between a preventable injury, muscle soreness, and something to actually be concerned about.

So what’s a trainer to do?

Hunt down a physical therapist to help clear things up.


And that’s what I did.

Trust me, you want to hear this.

Dr. Isabel Bosso, my head trainer Ashton, and myself sat down to discuss all things aches and pains…

  • isabelbossoHow to relieve muscle soreness after a workout. What’s normal, what’s not?
  • Common injuries that are related to muscular tightness & how just 5 minutes of doing certain moves can help (moves shown below).
  • How to handle swollen joints after a workout and when you need to see someone.
  • How to progress safely with your workouts and avoid jumping in too deep, too fast.

Mentally Accepting Avoidable Injuries

Sure… some injuries are absolutely unavoidable… you can’t help freak accidents from occurring.

But to think that all injuries are uncontrollable is naive and an excuse.

While the research isn’t available, I would say that over 90% of injuries that are suffered from exercise are completely avoidable.

Most often it comes from pushing your body when you know you shouldn’t be, fighting through an ache or pain that leads to a great ache or pain, and doing too much too soon.

But there is also the “fake injury”…

Those injuries that aren’t injuries at all. These are more prevalent with complete workout newbies but are equally as important to discuss when talking about fitness related pains.

For more on “fake injuries” make sure to listen to the podcast! For now, I want to discuss real injuries.


Treating An Injury Before It Happens

In the podcast, we discuss common issues dealing with knee pain, hip pain, and back pain. By far the 3 most common sites of exercise induced injuries.

And 9 out of 10 times, the all are caused by 1 thing…

Muscular tightness. 

Stretching and doing a few ROM (range of motion) exercises can help not only warm your body up for exercise but can help those aches and pains POOF be gone!

Here are the two most common issues…


What is an IT Band?

The iliotibial band is a thick band of fascia on the outside of the knee, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee. It inserts just below the knee. It’s crucial for stabilizing the knee.

A tight IT Band can cause pain in the knees and the outside of the hip. By doing these moves you can help develop the stabilizer muscles and increase range of motion to prevent IT band irritation.


Your butt wasn’t designed as a cushion. Believe it or not, it’s actually there to help hold your body erect and stable.

Having a week tush is an issue that is becoming far more popular than ever before because of our sedentary jobs. I’m right there with you, when I’m not training I am at the computer hanging out here!

But weak glutes can have a big affect on the way your body feels… back pain, knee pain, hamstring tightness… it’s amazing how everything is linked together.

Don’t be afraid to focus a few extra minutes working your butt each day! Its a giant muscle and will appreciate the attention.

Exercises To Strength And Increase ROM

The following exercises are great for improve IT Band range of motion (ROM) as well as glute activation.

Do them!

Before a workout as a dynamic stretch routine or on off days!

Set a timer and choose just 3-5 exercises below to do  for just 30 seconds. Seriously.

Your ass, hips, knees and back will thank you for it!










The Rules On Stretching

According to Dr. Isabel, she recommends that stretching be done at the end of a workout, or later on in the day once your body has had the time to wake up and move around a bit.

Avoid doing static (holding) moves first thing in the morning as your muscles are tight and locked up still.

Kick start your workout with active stretching such as high knees, kicks, lunges… moves that help to raise your core temperature but will also help wake the muscles up.

And finally… stretch every day! There is no reason why we can’t spend just a few minutes helping to make sure we stay in tip top shape. Spending 5-10 minutes now could help alleviate a lot of time spent in pain later.

I want to thank Ashton and Dr. Isabel for being on the show today! It was a blast, and so informative. If you’re in Charleston and looking for a PT, check out Atlas to get set up with Dr. Isabel Bosso!

So let me ask you…

What was the last injury you had? Was it preventable?


  • Looking forward to listening to this one! Exercise injuries, even the minor ones, are a pain in the butt! I’ve never been seriously injured but I’ve had many small issues that have forced me to take time off.

  • Oh, loving all those band exercises! Great post. Thanks so much for sharing this one!

  • Sheena

    Oh man, I was just thinking about this yesterday, I’ve broken myself more times than I’d like to admit :S I’m excited to listen to this tonight 🙂

  • Thanks for interviewing someone local, as I’ve considered finding a PT. This is the first real injury I’ve ever had, but I think it might be a good idea to at least establish a relationship with one and find out if I have any of these weak areas too. I definitely know I need to do the resistance band type exercises, because I’m really bad at anything with resistance bands (think: CxWorx class kicked my tail).

    I think regardless of injury… when you get injured, the #1 thing to do is find out the cause and how to prevent it from occurring again. So many people just treat the symptoms and not the disease… maybe that’s the saying? Although my injury isn’t exactly common (well, stress reaction/fracture is, but not usually in this bone), I found out that it’s because my foot rolls laterally… which affects a smaller percentage of runners. I got a special insole thing to help, especially when I can run again.

    Like you, I’m all about prevention- which is another reason why I’m considering the PT. Being out of running for weeks sucks and I don’t want to experience it again- at least not due to being injured!

  • What a well-timed post! I’m currently battling a flare of my never-ending tennis elbow. I am at my wit’s end. Had it for over a year now. It was misdiagnosed at first–I had a huge swelling on my elbow over the course of 24-48 hours (without prior pain) and he thought it was an infection. A few weeks later, I try to work out on it again, and figure the discomfort is just because I took a little time off. Then after trying multiple times with pain, I realize it’s more than an infection. A trip to the ortho confirms tennis elbow with a giant calcium deposit. I’ve done stretches, rest, ice, heat, ART, Graston, OT, and I’m still in this terrible cycle. Getting really frustrated. Sorry to vent–being injured is no fun. Will defnitely give that a listen later!

  • This is such a great post! I’ve been powering through and ignoring pain for way too long. I finally went to the chiro today!

  • Awesome post! I am so glad you mentioned not stretching cold (or at least not doing static stretching when you’re cold). And those warm up exercises are great. I’m going to forward this post to all my clients!

  • Great reminder… and I do believe that a lot of my knee or foot pain, or even shin splints I have had in the past was linked to tight muscles.

  • These Is really great information. It’s true that we don’t dedicate enough time to stretching.

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