“Before beginning a weight training programme, it is important that people of all ages consult with a health professional, such as a doctor or athletic trainer, to create a safe training regime based on their age and capabilities,”
These are the conclusions drawn by Dr Dawn Comstock, author of a new US study into weight training related injuries, published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.
The study found that more than 970,000 weight training-related injuries were treated in the US between 1990 and 2007, increasing nearly 50 percent during the 18-year study period.
While young people aged 13-24 had the highest number of injuries, the largest increase in the incidence of injuries occurred among those aged 45 years and older.
People aged 55 and older were more likely than their younger counterparts to be injured while using weight-training machines, and to sustain injuries from overexertion and lifting or pulling.
On the other hand, youths 12 years and younger were more likely to be injured while using free weights. This age group had a higher proportion of lacerations and fractures and were more likely to sustain injuries as a result of having a weight drop or fall on them than those aged 13 years and older.
The study also found that while males had the highest number of injuries, there was a larger increase in the incidence of injury among female participants.
“Weight training may still be a male dominated activity,” said Dr. Comstock, “However, the increase in incidence among female participants is likely the result of more women weight training as it becomes a more accepted fitness activity for women.”