By continuing use this site, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and our use of cookies.
Bodybuilding injuries

Bodybuilding injuries


How can I avoid injuries during bodybuilding?

Practising any kind of sport imposes constraints on the body and creates tensions to which it must adapt. As our body is not a machine, we can sometimes be too demanding and impose too many stresses on it. This is when the risk of injury arises. There are two types of injury. Muscle injuries and injuries to ligaments and tendons. The latter are closely related to joint problems.

Muscle injuries

Scale of injury severity :

- Contractures are caused by intense effort, with a number of muscle fibers failing to return to their original position after contraction, and remaining in a contracted position. This causes a painful spot to appear at a precise point on the muscle. In many cases, simply relaxing the muscle through massage combined with the application of a heat source will resolve the contracture.

- stretching is damage to a variable number of muscle fibers caused by over-stretching. To repair this type of injury, the injured muscle must be rested so that the affected muscle fibers return to their original length.

- A muscle strain is the tearing of muscle fibers subjected to a violent effort that exceeds their capacity to resist. This type of injury is relatively serious, requiring the affected muscle to stop working altogether for several weeks. It is often accompanied by analgesic and anti-inflammatory treatment.

- Tears are the most serious of all muscular injuries. It involves tearing a large number of muscle fibers, as well as the envelope (aponeurosis) that surrounds them. The result is a hole in the affected muscle and a large amount of blood. Total rest for several weeks to several months is required, along with appropriate treatment. Surgery may be required to repair the affected muscle. The muscle may never regain its pre-injury capacity.


Certain movements are more likely than others to cause injury, as they place considerable stress and strain on the joints.

The squat is very often responsible for injuries to the lower back (lumbar region) and knees when flexion exceeds 90°.

- The deadlift puts enormous strain on the lumbar region if the movement is not performed safely.

- Barbell bench presses and neck presses place enormous stress on the shoulder ligaments in the area behind the shoulders, known as the rotator cuff. They provide stability for the deltoids, but the pressure exerted on these ligaments by these movements can cause them to rupture.

- Like the deadlift, the rowing bar is responsible for lumbar injuries, since the inclination of the torso and the fact of having a load at arm's length create enormous tension on the joint and also on the muscles of the lower back.


Even if there is no such thing as zero risk, you can limit the risk of injury by taking a few precautions and observing a few principles.

Firstly, it's important to warm up properly. A thorough warm-up of the whole body is essential, followed by a focus on the muscle groups and joints that will be used during the workout.

During the session, keep well hydrated, as dehydration leads to malfunctions in muscular contraction, increasing the risk of cramps, muscle strains and tears. In addition, tendonitis is more likely to occur with dehydration.

The choice of load is also a risk factor. Loads that are too heavy for the body to handle will increase the risk of muscle and tendon damage.

Finally, stretching at the end of the session allows muscles to regain their initial length and elasticity. Muscles become stronger and less elastic through training, but tendons do not gain in strength, so the stronger the muscle, the more stress it places on the tendon.

A good abdominal-lumbar strengthening program will enable better graining and limit injury to the lumbar area, as it will be more rigid during effort and therefore more stabilized.

Now you're ready to avoid the risk of injury as much as possible, so you can enjoy your favourite sport as safely as possible. Listen to the signals your body sends you and you'll progress without injury!

Author Alexandre CARPENTIER

Bodybuilding Champion N.A.C 2012

Alexandre shares his experience of bodybuilding with MegaGear blog readers