Building Bigger Muscle Even with Joint Pain

By: Joe Brammer

When people first get involved with a gym in Des Moines or anywhere for that matter they usually first come in the door because they want to lose weight and tone up. But often times after the initial weight loss they begin to focus on building muscle and lifting weights because building muscle is one of the best ways to speed up your metabolism and burn fat. But often times I hear people with joint issues have concerns about joint pain. There are people who struggle to keep their joints healthy while working out and lifting heavy weights.

If you are worried about your joints when benching, deadlifting and squatting, it is going to take its toll on your back, wrists, and knees if it’s not done properly. Here are some tips on how to relieve joint pain and prevent weight room injuries even in the supervision of a Personal Trainer at our Des Moines Gym.


Be Precautious

We often hear the word “precaution” these days when people talk about health care and medicine. Taking precaution and being precautious is a good thing. No one should leave their body open to diseases, one should be careful in advance to make sure that he or she has healthy joints. People often times lift weights with bad form or explosively and that can be really taxing on your joints.

The art of working out is to be able to maximally work your muscles while keeping your joints healthy and injury free.

In brief, no matter what is going on in your weight room, start taking methods to keep your knees, wrists, lower back and elbows healthy and safe. My first tip is to slow down and control the weight, alot of injurys happen when someone is moving through the exercise as fast as they can, slow down, focus on the contracting muscles and using proper form, when you slow down you can feel if anything hurts, you can feel if you are using bad form, it wont feel right and you can make an adjustment, this also allows you to use a lighter weight but still tax your muscles because of the time under tension principal. Here is a simple example do 10 pushups as fast as you can, now try 5 pushups with a 10 second lower phase and a 5 second pushing phase, you will quickly see that slow and steady not only smokes your muscles but keeps your joints feeling great!

Another easy thing to do to keep your joints healthy is to wrap your knees and wrists. When you do heavy pressing movements or bench press, your wrists are always at risk of serious pain if you are not being careful. If you wrap those parts tightly, you will feel good stability in your wrists and move much heavier weight. In addition make sure to grab the bar with a good overhand grip, squeeze the bar like you are trying to crush it, this will help lock your wrist into place to keep it strong and in good position through the lift.

For your knees, I recommend a knee sleeve or wraps to keep everything tight, I also recommend focusing on your form and making sure you are equating to at least a 90 degree angle. So many injuries happen when people start to ego lift and focus too much on how much weight is on the bar and not proper form. When you get stronger, you can start using heavier wraps to both safeguard your knees and provide you a little more strength and as you feel comfortable add more weight but remember time under tension applies to squats as well take it slow and you will not only feel the burn better but activate more muscle growth.

If there is one part of the body that strength athletes have issues with more than any other, it is the lower back area. Many people think that squats are not good for your back, this is not true if you use proper form and a weight you can safely handle. At our Elite Edge Gym in Des Moines we recommend starting with body weight squats then moving to goblet squats and after that to start using the barbell.

Comment below with any questions you have about keeping your joints safe while you work out!