Safety Concerns with Exercise Equipment
Fitness equipment is essential for athletes to train and become stronger. It is a helpful tool to get into shape and stay in shape. Regardless of a person’s age, gender, size, shape, ability level, or physical condition, exercise machines help with fitness goals, no matter where that person is on their wellness journey.
One of the great things about exercise equipment is its accessibility. Whether at home or at a gym, just about anyone can make use of fitness equipment and accessories to help with the following:
- Cardio workouts for heart health and better lung capacity
- Strength building to reduce body fat, enhance lean muscle mass, and improve bone density
- Recovery following surgery or injury
- Improved balance and coordination
- Better agility and speed
- Achieving and maintaining an ideal weight
- Greater flexibility
- Stress reduction
- Better mental outlook
- And more
It’s clear that fitness equipment provides numerous benefits, but it’s important to remember that risk is inherent in any apparatus. Serving as exercise equipment experts since 1989, we at Akfit Fitness Specialty Store strive to be objective and transparent about potential problems that may arise when using exercise machines and fitness accessories.
We want you to be aware of the top safety concerns associated with using exercise equipment so that you can work out safely and minimize your risk of getting hurt. By informing our customers of potential hazards, we hope to foster safe practices at home and in gyms. It’s important to us that our clients know how to use any fitness equipment they buy safely and effectively in order to get the maximum gain while avoiding injury.
In this article, we cover some of the biggest safety concerns to help you become aware of what can go wrong with fitness equipment usage. We also offer advice on how to use exercise equipment correctly to avoid issues and enjoy all the benefits of a great workout.
Learn about the safety concerns with using the following equipment (& how to stay safe) …
- Treadmills, Steppers, & Ellipticals
- Spin and Upright Bikes
- Strength-Building Machines
- Dumbells and Kettlebells
- Weight Plates and Lifting Bars
Treadmills, Steppers, And Ellipticals
These exercise machines offer tremendous cardiovascular benefits and serve as great tools for staying in shape. Particularly in colder climates like ours, with snowy winters and temperatures that drop below freezing. Treadmills, ellipticals, and steppers can help individuals of all ages and abilities to exercise when it’s not practical to go outdoors. They offer a convenient way to stay active year-round.
- Boosting heart health
- Burning calories
- Staying trim and fit
- Boosting immunity
- Relieving stress
- Achieving desired weight
- Improving metabolism
These are the major home and gym safety concerns associated with each piece of equipment:
- Treadmills: Falling is a significant risk, as well as getting entangled in the conveyor system and experiencing friction burns when placed in the wrong spot. Whether losing your balance while using a treadmill or getting knocked off your feet by unexpected speeds and start/stop motions, a fall can happen if you’re distracted, which can cause significant injury.
- Steppers: These exercise machines simulate climbing stairs. Safety issues include tipping the machine over or tripping on the steps.
- Ellipticals: Falling is also a risk with elliptical machines. If your foot and the pedal separate and get out of sync, you may slip off.
How To Stay Safe
To stay safe and enjoy your indoor workouts on treadmills, steppers, and ellipticals, be sure to read and follow all of the safety recommendations for the equipment. In addition, practice the following:
- Purchase models that are weighted and will not tip over
- Install equipment correctly
- Leave plenty of space around the equipment
- Do NOT turn the machine on while you are standing on the treadmill or steps
- Wear proper footwear
- Always use the safety key
- Do not step off a moving treadmill or elliptical; wait until it comes to a full stop
- Avoid exercising on motorized exercise equipment when you are too sleepy, feel exhausted, or are mentally distracted.
- Do not go too fast
- Do not come to a sudden halt
- Always accelerate and decelerate gradually
- Never leave children unattended around exercise equipment
By following home and commercial gym safety recommendations and operating fitness equipment the way it was designed to be used, you can maximize wellness benefits while staying safe and avoiding injury.
Spin And Upright Bikes
With indoor cycling equipment, you can enjoy the health benefits and fun of riding a bike indoors.
Spin, upright, and other types of indoor cycling machines offer the following benefits:
- Burning calories
- Building leg strength
- Boosting muscle endurance
- Improving brain health
- Shedding fat
- Improving heart health
- Reaching desired weight levels
Some of the primary safety concerns associated with spin bikes, upright bikes, and other styles of indoor cycling equipment include the following:
- Parts can become loose from overuse, and the equipment can fail if it isn’t being properly maintained
- An incorrect fit can, over time, lead to strain and injury to your knees and other joints, as well as to your back
- Getting entangled by the pedals can lead to physical injuries
- Trying to get off the machine too quickly can lead to getting hit by the moving pedals, which can cause bruising or more significant injuries
- Children can get hurt if they approach a bike in motion.
How To Stay Safe
You can enjoy indoor cycling and derive fitness benefits while staying safe. Follow these important safety tips when using equipment:
- Make sure the equipment is installed correctly and the owner’s manual maintenance schedule is followed.
- Check nuts and bolts, and tighten any that may bew loose
- Make sure the bike fits you properly; adjust the seat and handlebars as needed
- Do warmups and stretches to prepare your body before you begin an intense cycling session
- Get off the bike properly—wait until the pedals have come to a stop
- Keep children distanced from equipment while in use.
A wide range of strength-boosting and functional trainer machines exist. These are used by everyone from bodybuilders to swimmers, and from runners to team sports players.
Benefits this type of fitness equipment offers include the following:
- Building strength
- Enhancing athletic performance
- Training during the off-season
- Building muscle
- Working out specific muscle groups
- Rehabilitation, post-injury, or surgery.
- Injuries can happen when bench pressing, especially when attempting to lift too much weight; injuries can range from sprained wrists to broken ribs, or worse
- Overuse can lead to fatigue
- Some joints can get injured if they are being overworked or stressed with improper form
- Improperly installed and poorly maintained equipment can break while being used and cause injury
- Gym equipment in a commercial setting that is not cleaned in between uses can spread germs
How To Stay Safe
Building strength is an important and necessary part of any athlete’s workout. Beginners to professionals can stay safe on strength-building fitness equipment by adhering to the following:
- Work out with a partner who will spot you and can help operate and double-check the equipment, as well as assist in the event of an injury
- Do not attempt to lift more than you can handle; build up to heavier weights gradually
- Ensure teenagers using the equipment do not overexert themselves and do not operate the equipment alone
- Pace yourself
- Follow proper lifting form to prevent injuries
- Have your equipment checked and maintained regularly
- Clean your equipment regularly to avoid spreading viruses and bacteria
Dumbbells And Kettlebells
When it comes to working out with dumbbells and kettlebells, prevention and common sense go a long way in staying safe.
Working out with these types of weights offers many benefits, including:
- Building power
- Increasing strength
- Working out muscles
- Building core strength
- Weight training
- Improving your balance
- Training for sports
The main risks associated with dumbbells and kettlebells involve accidentally dropping them. Safety concerns include:
- Weights that are dropped or thrown can cause injury to yourself or anyone around you
- Overreaching can lead to weightlifting accidents
- Working out alone can be dangerous; a workout buddy can spot you or move weights for you when exhaustion gets the best of you
- Losing your grip can lead to heavy objects being hurled, which can cause you or others serious injury and may cause property damage
How To Stay Safe
Most accidents and risks related to exercising with kettlebells and dumbbells can be avoided with common sense. When using these types of weights, stay safer by following these important guidelines:
- Do not lift more than you can handle
- Make sure you have adequate grip strength before attempting to pick up any dumbbells or kettlebells
- Work with a fitness partner
- Be mindful of the weight you are physically moving around and the damage these objects can do if they slip out of your hands
- Learn proper lifting and safety techniques by working with a knowledgeable instructor
Weight Plates And Lifting Bars
Like strength-building exercise machines, dumbbells, and kettlebells, weight plates, and lifting bars play a prominent role in many people’s fitness routines. They’re great for:
- Sports training
- Strength building
- Toning muscles
- Improving grip strength
- Developing core stability
- Improving athletic performance
- Strengthening your back
The main safety concerns surrounding weight plates and lifting bars are similar to the ones associated with dumbbells and kettlebells.
In particular, these fitness tools present the following safety concerns:
- Overexertion can lead to slip-ups and potential injuries
- Lack of preparation and training can cause avoidable injuries and mishaps
- Leaving any type of weights in an unstable position can cause them to drop and hurt you or others
- People can trip overweight plates and lift bars left lying around
- Lifting too much or using improper lifting techniques pose safety risks
How To Stay Safe
Weight plates and lifting bars can be integral to any strength-building fitness routine so long as proper gym safety guidelines are followed. When lifting, be sure to keep the following in mind to stay safe:
- Always work with a spotter who understands proper spotting techniques
- Do not try to lift or move more than you can handle; know your limits
- Wear proper footwear to avoid slipping and to protect your toes
- Make sure you use proper form whenever you move weights
- Handle weights safely and respectfully; don’t throw or drop them on purpose
- When you’re done using them, make sure to place weight plates and lifting bars securely on racks
The fitness specialists at Akfit Fitness Specialty Store want to make sure you get the most from your exercise equipment while staying safe. That’s why we offer top-quality fitness equipment and accessories for sale, which you can purchase for your home gym or commercial fitness-related business knowing that you’ll get great products and service.
In addition to selling exceptional fitness equipment and accessories, Akfit offers services that help maintain the safety of your home or commercial exercise machines.
We’re here to help you choose the right equipment, provide proper instructions on how to use your equipment, and perform maintenance to ensure your equipment continues to run safely and effectively.
To take the next steps on your fitness journey, visit one of our store locations or schedule an appointment to talk with one of our knowledgeable representatives.