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As a new year begins, many people make resolutions to improve their lives. One of the most common resolutions is to begin a new fitness regime or start visiting the gym. However, while going to the gym and working out is great for your health, unsafe gym conditions can cause serious injuries.

If you are starting a new workout program or exercising at the gym, take safety precautions to minimize your risk of injury. In 2021, 409,224 people were injured while exercising or using exercise machines.

If you have been injured at a gym due to the negligence of another patron or the facility staff, contact the Louisiana premises liability attorneys at Dudley DeBosier. We can help you understand how premises liability laws affect your case and explain your legal options.

Warm Up Before Any Workout

Your muscles are made of tiny fibers bundled together in larger tissue structures. Tiny tears develop in the fibers wherever you strain your muscles, through working out or doing strenuous activities. For many years, doctors thought stretching could gradually loosen those fibers, preventing tears and helping prevent injury.

However, recent studies have questioned if stretching is an effective warmup. Instead, doctors recommend doing a light version of your planned workout for 5-10 minutes to get your muscles ready for heavier activities.

An example of a good warmup would be to slowly walk for 5-10 minutes before beginning a hike or run or do a few reps at half the weight you want to lift before starting your set. This can prepare your body for your workout in a way that promotes muscle health and prevents injury. 

Use Correct Technique and Properly Operate All Equipment

Proper technique is one of the most important ways to prevent injury in the gym. Performing each exercise as recommended can prevent muscle strain, sprains, joint damage, and muscle and tissue tears. The correct technique also increases the benefits of each exercise session and helps you get the most out of your gym time.

If you use equipment as part of your exercise routine, check that you are operating it correctly and in line with the manufacturer’s specifications. Many exercise machines have operating instructions written on the side. Review them to ensure you are following the correct procedures.

Take note if the gym has purposely removed these information stickers or allowed them to become unreadable with age, as it could be a sign of negligence that could make them liable for potential injuries.

If you are unsure how to perform an activity or use a machine, book a session with a professional trainer and have them carefully evaluate your form to ensure you are doing the action safely.

Check That Other Patrons Have Left Areas in Proper Condition

Many gyms are busy with new customers at the start of each new year. New gym patrons may be unaware of proper gym etiquette and may fail to leave workout areas organized and tidy with all equipment in the appropriate place after they use them.

Improperly stored gym equipment, weights, or props left out or incorrectly stored machines can be dangerous for other gym patrons. If you see an area left in a potentially hazardous condition, notify staff immediately to prevent injuries.

If you see a fellow patron engaging in dangerous behavior like throwing weights or misusing a machine, inform the staff, as the patron’s behavior could harm others.

Ensure That Employees Keep the Gym in Safe Condition

Gym staff should keep all publicly accessible areas of the gym in safe working condition, and if they fail to do so, the gym could potentially be liable for any injuries. This includes failing to clean wet floors in areas where there may be sweat accumulation, near shower or bathroom exits, or entrances during rain.

Staff must also check that mats are properly secured to floors, as unsecured mats are a trip risk. The facility must store weights or other heavy objects out of the path of foot traffic to prevent falls and maintain machines as per their manufacturer’s instructions.

The gym must also post signs that warn of any dangers, and failure to do so places liability on staff and facility owners.

Call Dudley DeBosier if You Are Injured at a Gym

If you suffer injuries at a gym facility, contact Dudley DeBosier. The attorneys at Dudley DeBosier have years of experience fighting for injured Louisianans. We will investigate your case, prepare any necessary documents, and protect your rights while you rest and recover from your injury.

Call us today for a free, no-obligation review of your case.

This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.

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