* This is a guest post

Which bodybuilder hasn’t complained about aching joints, sore muscles or a stiff back?  Probably no one!  These are very common issues for bodybuilders.

While injuries are a part of any athletic endeavor, they tend to be more frequent for ectomorph bodybuilders because of the physical and psychological stress.

Injuries can have a devastating effect on a bodybuilder; they can cause you to lose the gains you’ve made, miss workouts, sleep poorly, and might even end a promising career.

As an ectomorph, you’ve worked hard for your gains.  Don’t let an injury set you back.

How can you reduce the chance of injury?

First, you must be knowledgeable about what could potentially happen to your body.  Second, you need to make injury prevention a top priority.  Lastly, you need to allow plenty of time for injuries to heal.


Be Knowledgeable

Injuries fall into the following categories.  Use the information provided by Wikipedia to educate yourself about the various types of injuries.

  • Tendonitis –inflammation of a tendon; usually refers to large-scale tendon injuries
  • Strain – refers to an injury of a muscle or tendon; muscle fibers tear as a result of overstretching
  • Sprain – refers to an injury of a ligament; ligaments tear as a result of overstretching
  • Bursitis – inflammation of one or more bursae sacs; involves the point where muscles and tendons slide across the bone
  • Avulsion – complete tearing of a muscle, typically along the junction between the muscle and its tendon
  • Contusion – bruising caused by trauma to the capillaries and venules.
  • Fracture – breakage of a bone; separation that is complete, partial or from compression


Also, make sure you are aware of the most common bodybuilding injuries:

  • Neck Strain – This injury is the result of excess stress on the neck muscles.
  • Pectoral Tear – The severity of this injury can vary and is most commonly associated with an overuse of anabolic steroids.
  • Elbow Tendonitis – This broad term includes triceps tendonitis, lateral epicondylitis/tennis elbow, and medical epicondylitis/golfer’s elbow.
  • Back Strain/Sprain – Injuries to the back are usually the result of lifting too much weight or using poor form during squats or deadlifts.


Prevent Injuries

All bodybuilders – especially ectomorphs – need to make injury prevention a top priority.  Here are some tips to keep muscles and other body parts in tip-top shape. 

  • Warm-up first.  Walk on the treadmill for about five to ten minutes.  Then, perform the desired exercise with very light weights.  About 20 repetitions should be a good warm-up.
  • After warming up, stretch the muscle you will be exercising.  Take the joint to the end of its range of motion and hold the position for about 30 seconds.
  • Pay attention to what you are doing.  This is the best way to prevent an injury to yourself or someone else in the gym.  If you are chatting with your friend or watching the girl on the elliptical machine, you are bound to drop a plate or dumbbell.
  • Eat plenty of protein.  This will help maintain muscle fiber strength and enable a quicker recovery.
  • This should be a no-brainer, but don’t wear open-toed shoes!  If you do, you’re just asking for trouble.
  • Wrap your knees when performing heavy squats.  Also, wrap your wrists during heavy lifts such as deadlifts or shrugs.


How to Deal with an Injury

If you sustain a serious injury, see a doctor right away.  The longer you wait, the longer it will take to recover.

For minor injuries, let the word PRICE guide your treatment strategy:

  • Protect the injury from further trauma with a brace or splint.
  • Rest for at least 48 hours.
  • Ice will limit inflammation, swelling, and scar tissue.
  • Compression with a wrap or towel will decrease swelling.
  • Elevate the injury above the level of your heart to slow blood flow and swelling.


Once you return to your regular workout routine, don’t push yourself too hard too fast.  If an exercise makes the pain worse, stop!

By educating yourself about possible bodybuilding injuries, doing everything possible to prevent them, and taking the proper care when they do arise, you can keep your ectomorph bodybuilding goals on track.

Guest author Bryan Jones works for a chiropractor in Lakeland, providing chiropractic information to lots of local bodybuilders.  He is very knowledgeable about back and neck injuries that result from improper weight lifting techniques.