T Nation

Injury Survey

I am always trying to make gains while staying healthy. There are so many barbell and dumbbell movements, and variations to those movements, that I thought it would be interesting to pose the following three questions relative to injury in the gym.

When was the last time that you were injured lifting weights? Secondly, What was the exercise that you were performing that caused this injury? Also, if you have been training for a period of time of five years or more, which exercise has caused you the most unhealthy pain, and kept you out of the gym?

This means you either could not train for a week or more, or you had to train around the injury, meaning you were forced to focus on other body parts.


  1. When was the last time you were injured?

  2. Which exercise were you performing when you were injured?

  3. If you have trained for a period of five years or more, which exercise has harmed your body the most and kept you out of the gym?

Hopefully this will be of some help to all of us hard training T-men and women!

Ive never had an acute injury while weightlifting. I have had chronic injuries from squatting without briefs or not warming up the elbows or too much band work.

Same thing here. My elbows get trashed sometimes from either pulling too many deadlifts or doing something stupid with dumbells like not just letting them crash to the floor. Other than that I have no injuries do to lifting directly.

Only one injury and it was my own dumb ass fault.

I was doing GM’s. 8-10 reps range. On set prior to injury I started to lose good form during last few reps. Webt ahead and tried one more set and push through the bad form. Not a good Idea. Slight tear in lower back muscle. I was lucky. Had to take it easy on my back for a couple weeks.


  1. September 2003 I seriously injured my right quadratus lumborum. So much so that even after 7 weeks of therapy, weekly massages, and active recovery immediately after the injury, I can still feel it tight today nearly 5 months later.

  2. I was deadlifting. I don’t blame the movement though, instead I blame a momentary lack of concentration on my 3rd rep allowing my hip to drop, and my hip to shift.

  3. I’ve trained seriously lifting weights for just over 2 years. But if you consider my training in athletics for all my prior years, the injury that prevented my from training for my competitions was repeated groin pulls (3 times on both sides).

I “tweaked” my biceps tendon (or something at the origin) doing preacher curls. They were okay to train a the next week as long as my humerus was parallel to my torso. Anything that pushes my humerus cranially/anteriorly out of the GH joint (loosely speaking), like a preacher curl with the seat too low, still bothers me 2 years later.

Nothing serious after 12 years, but I swear that power cleans will eventually DESTROY my wrists.:slight_smile:

Phill- I have read about people becoming injured through lack of a good warm up. This makes sense. With me however it seems that most of my injuries through the years have been when I was fatigued and my form became sloppy, as you stated. Are these the two most vulnerable times, at the beginning and at the end of a training session?

David- I am not a big believer in any sort of “protective” equipment. In most cases I think the body will toughen to accommodate the movement, as long as it is performed properly. However, while I have the heart of a lion, I have the wrists of a thin piano player. I never do power cleans unless my wrists are wrapped. Have you ever tried wrapping your wrists?

  1. I hurt my shoulder about 2 months ago.

  2. I was doing heavy dumbell incline after a couple really heavy barbell bench; so I was really worn out. I got stuck on the last rep and tried to force it with everything I had. Then, my arm slid out of its socket. Luckily, it slid right back in and did no real lasting damage. I was back lifting after 3 days rest.

  3. I’ve not really noticed any real injury-causing exercises during my lifting career. So long as the form is good, you really shouldn’t have to worry about injury.

  1. When was the last time you were injured?

About 5 yrs ago I think.

  1. Which exercise were you performing when you were injured?


  1. If you have trained for a period of five years or more, which exercise has harmed your body the most and kept you out of the gym?

The only time I was kept out of the gym was from the above-mentioned incident. However, I’ve had small aches and strains I’ve had to work around.

Problem areas have been elbows and shoulders mostly. Shoulders from too much pressing in general (no specific movement). Elbows from free-weight tricep extensions and variations.

Also, anytime I’ve tried oly lifts I’ve had trouble with my wrists. I stick with explosive squats, good-mornings and dead-lifts. Can’t do upright rows, high-pulls or the like either because they’re murder on my shoulders (which is just fine with me though).

  1. Cuff rotator

  2. Wide grip bench press

  3. Can’t answer this question but I have been training for over 3years. I have gone through the good old lower back pain from poor deadlifts, tennis elbow from reverse EZ-bar curls.

I think my shoulders and elbows are the first 2 things that can go wrong with me.

One interesting point to not forget is that sometimes it’s not the actual exercise or movement that is the cause of the injury but maybe everything you were doing prior to that.

So for example poor posture/weak cuff rotators caused me cuff rotator injury and 2days before my wide grip bench press I was doing behind the neck shoulder press on the smith machine so just do the math and u get an injury!!

Maybe a better question would be which is injured most: Shoulders, elbows, wrists, back, knees, hips general muscle tears?

Last time I was injured was in September. I injured my acromioclavicular joint by stupidly overtraining my pecs and front delts one day (bench press, dips, dumbell bench). But it was more of a chronic injury caused by bad posture and muscular imbalance. I’m kind of glad it happened, because I now realize the importance of a properly balanced program, and it will never happen again.

I also hurt my lower back pretty bad once doing deadlifts, but I attribute this to bad form and trying to wean myself off of the belt.

While we still do not have a lot of participants. I am surprised to see that deadlifting is number one for injuries, in our survey!

The last time I was “injured” was last fall. I was doing low incline dumbell presses and had my head raised off the bench because I wasn’t paying attention very well. I was pushing hard and my neck muscles were tensed and I pulled a muscle in my neck. It didn’t keep me from training, but I felt like a dumbass for about a week because I couldn’t turn my head very well and it was completely my fault for losing concentration. The only other time I have been hurt was doing dips. Something in my rotator was injured and I had to work around it for about three weeks. I have since tried dips a couple of times and felt the warning pain that I ignored that first time. I have concluded that I just can’t do dips, even with a reduced rom and perfect form.

  1. Hip flexor strain last Nov 2003, caused by lack of flexibility.

  2. ME ass to the grass squats.

  3. Rotator cuff most prevalent caused by benching and dips. Fixed by not going fully down on dips and rehab exercises. But has never stopped me training.

Lower back strain has def kept me out of the gym the most! Deadlifts and BB rows were the exercises most abused. Caused by poor form and weak back (suprise, suprise).

developed arthritis in my right shoulder and the orthopedist said it was from benching. incline bench always aggravated it but its good now. never had a traumatic injury, just a few chronic ones like carpal tunnel and forearm splints

Looks like various forms of Bench pressing has overtaken Deadlifting as the number one cause of most injuries, so far…

I’ve been moving iron for more than 20 years and the biggest consistent culprit for me is deep movements,

  1. dips
  2. flies
  3. preacher curls
    These types of movements I was so fond of when young have become the source of great pain. I also seriously injured my back 2 weeks before a meet on a X2 squat attempt, also my spotter didn’t fair well either the weight brushed his knees on the way down (600+lbs)

I really have become a “control geek” if I can’t control the weight, I don’t touch it, it’s all about longevity and consistency now!!

DL? form first weight later! If your form isn’t perfect it will be the first thing to go when you overload!

Basso, well stated!

1)Over training on bench