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How to Prevent Common Fitness Injuries With Clients

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A yoga student is rolling out their back on the ground with a muscle roller.

When it comes to fitness training, achieving a client’s goals and staying injury-free go hand in hand. While pushing a client to new heights is important, it’s equally crucial to prioritize safety during workouts. This can lessen the likelihood of an injury occurring, which lessens the likelihood of you having to pay for a client’s medical bills (or a lawsuit).

Today we are sharing seven strategies fitness instructors can use to help their clients prevent injuries while training.

1. Conduct Thorough Assessments

Whether you strength train, dance, or golf, get to know your clients before you start working together. You’ll want to know about any prior injuries, chronic pain, or physical limitations they have. An easy way to gather this information is by having them complete a medical form. This way they can disclose this information to you and you have a record of it.

You also may want to conduct your own physical assessment of your client’s physical capabilities and skill level. You want to see where your client is at so you are sure to not push them too far and keep them comfortable. This will help you create tailored workout plans or place someone in the correct learning class that aligns with their abilities.

A fitness instructor is doing a consultation with a potential client to see if there are any health concerns or physical limitations they should know about.

2. Emphasize Proper Warm-up & Cool-down Routines

Too often, people underestimate the importance of warming up before a workout and cooling down afterward. This often leads to injuries that could have easily been prevented.

It’s important you educate your clients about the benefits of these routines, such as increased blood flow, improved flexibility, and reduced muscle soreness. By demonstrating and encouraging proper warm-up and cool-down exercises, you can help prevent common injuries like muscle strains.

A runner is stretching before their workout.

3. Focus On Correct Techniques

Teaching clients correct technique is paramount to injury prevention. Not having the right stance or using the right muscles can lead to severe injuries in just seconds. You should provide clear instructions and guidance on how to perform exercises correctly, emphasizing proper form and alignment.

By monitoring clients closely, you’ll be able to identify any deviations from the correct technique and offer corrections promptly. If you’re teaching a class, take time to slowly explain the technique and walk students through it step by step. It may take time, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

A dance teacher carefully helps to correct the form of their student's feet so they don't get hurt.

4. Gradually Increase Intensity

Overexertion is a common cause of fitness injuries. It’s important to encourage your clients to gradually increase the intensity of their workouts over time, allowing their bodies to adapt and grow stronger without unnecessary strain.

If they are feeling extra sore or too challenged, remind them that it’s okay to take a step back and take a slower approach to hitting a new goal or moving on to a more challenging activity. Sometimes you may need to pay close attention and frequently check in with them to make sure they are doing okay.

Having a game plan or milestone map can help you and your client know if they are ready to increase the intensity of their workouts. Make it clear that they need to hit certain goals before they are ready to advance.

A pilates teacher helps a client strengthen their core on an exercise ball.

5. Pay Attention To Recovery

Recovery is an often overlooked aspect of training, but it’s crucial for preventing injuries. It’s best practice that you educate your clients about the importance of rest days, adequate sleep, and proper nutrition to aid in muscle repair and growth. Give them suggestions of certain recovery activities they can do that are unique to them or their specific training.

By promoting a balanced approach to training and recovery, you can help clients avoid burnout and reduce the likelihood of overuse injuries (and they’ll likely thank you for giving them time to rest!).

A yoga student smiles and sits in a yoga pose on a mat.

6. Encourage Cross-Training

Repetitive strain injuries can occur when the same muscles and joints are continuously stressed — especially when clients are not warming up and cooling down, or increase their intensity too soon. One way you can help clients avoid this is by advocating for cross-training, which involves incorporating a variety of exercises and activities into clients’ routines. This could include activities like swimming, cycling, yoga, or even dancing.

By varying the types of exercises performed, you are also helping your clients develop cardiovascular endurance, build strength in different areas of the body, enhance flexibility and mobility, and prevent boredom by keeping workouts fresh and exciting.

A fitness instructor and client are stretching before an outdoor run.

7. Regularly Assess Gear & Equipment

The gear and equipment you use to train clients can develop some wear and tear over time. If something malfunctions, someone can get seriously hurt. Take some time once a month to check on the mechanics of your equipment and the durability of your gear.

If you notice something needs to be repaired or replaced, then it’s time to invest in a tune or new gear. Remember, it’s a lot cheaper to pay for upkeep than it is to pay for medical bills or a lawsuit.

It’s also wise to disinfect the items you use weekly. This could be wiping down yoga mats, washing dance costumes, cleaning weights, or sanitizing golf clubs. If you have one studio you continually work in, you can try running an air purifier in the evenings, on weekends, or on days off to keep your clients happy and healthy.

A fitness instructor is testing out their weights.

Cover The Cost Of An Accident With Fitness Insurance

Despite our best efforts to keep clients safe, we can still deal with accidents every now and then. Fitness instructor insurance is designed to be a financial safety net to help you pay for the costs of a claim in the unfortunate event a client or student gets hurt.

For as low as $12.50 a month, you can have peace of mind knowing you can be covered for some of the common injuries clients face. Here are some examples of real claims we helped fitness instructors pay for:

  • A client was injured while using a weight machine with a personal trainer: $217,814
  • A student accidentally hurt another student during a class: $5,789
  • A client hurt their leg during a workout with a fitness coach: $4,894
  • A student tripped over extra gear during a fitness class and needed surgery: $43,175

A safe instructor is a proactive instructor. Get the protection you need and start implementing the seven tips shared today to cover the what-ifs of tomorrow.

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