Weight Training

People of all ages enjoy weight training as a way to get and stay in shape. Unfortunately, as the popularity of the activity has increased, so has the number of injuries. With proper instruction, form and spotting, however, many weight training-related injuries can be prevented.

Weight Training Injury Facts

  • Common injuries are sprains and strains.

  • The body parts most commonly injured are the trunk and hands.

  • Injuries often occur when weights are dropped on a person or a body part gets smashed between weights.

Child and Youth Injury Facts

  • Youths, ages 13-24, are the most at risk for injury.

  • Teens are often injured using free weights.

  • Cuts and broken bones are more common injuries for children, ages 12 years and younger, than participants 13 years and older.

Older Participants Injury Facts

  • People 55 years and older are injured more often using machines than free weights.

  • Overexertion injuries are more common among older weight training participants.

Weight Training Safety Tips

  • Inspect free weights regularly for defects and check that the weights are secured so that they do not fall in the middle of a set.

  • Select equipment and weight limits that can be handled effectively and use a spotter when using free weights to maintain control.

  • Start with lighter weights and work up to heavier weights.

  • Carefully follow all safety instructions on weight-training machines.

  • Children and youths should carefully plan their weight-training program with guidance from their parents, coaches and doctors.

  • Youths should always have trained supervision when weight training.

  • Older participants, ages 55 years and older, should understand their lifting capabilities and proper operation of any machine they use.

Additional Weight Training Resources

  • Epidemiology of weight training-related injuries presenting to United States emergency departments, 1990 to 2007