Minimising Injury to Lower Back, Knees, and Shoulders

How do you minimise your chances of getting injured? Start by moving better!


On 10th January we ran our first workshop of the year in collaboration with UN1T Gym London Bridge where we talked about the common causes of injury and how to be aware of key movement faults to avoid in both strength and conditioning, and HIIT training to minimise the risk of injury.

During the event we split into 3 groups covering the 3 areas which usually create more problems during weight lifting sessions: lower back, shoulders and knees. Scroll down to read the top tips for each one!



Lower Back


Your core is your powerhouse. The secret doesn’t lie in training your core more or with a “better” exercise. You need to learn to control what’s happening down there. Do you know where your pelvis is when you squat, or when you overhead press, or when you jump? This is your foundation; inability to control your pelvic movements will increase the chances to get lower back, knees and also upper body injuries. Get in front of a mirror and start practicing pelvic tilt, front to back, side to side and circles. Awareness is the first step for control.




Where is your knee pointing when you jump, squat, lunge? Most knee issues stem from a ‘valgus’ collapse, which is when your knee moves in toward the centre of your body when you are under load. Knees respond to what your hips and ankle dictate: glute weakness and poor foot mechanics are the usual culprits. Lunges is where the issue will be highlighted as the unilateral nature of the exercise adds instability; a simple cue to remember is to make sure your front leg is pushing through your heel and not your toes, this will help to recruit your glutes more and get your knee to track over your little toe!




Shoulder problems often develop in exercises which we won’t necessarily consider shoulder-focused. Who loves Burpees? Believe it or not, we have seen numerous shoulder issues start with a high-volume burpees workout. The reason is simple, nobody looks at what their shoulders are doing during burpees and with no specific muscle required to complete a rep (vs push ups where your triceps will limit the number you can perform for example), we can carry on never really reaching failure and pushing through burning shoulders screaming at you that you are doing something wrong!

The issue here is letting the shoulders roll in and forward, with your shoulder blades raising toward the ears, putting excessive stress on the tendons at the front of the joint. Keep your hands close to the body and slightly behind your shoulders, and make sure you are maintaining an open chest!







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