Exercise Equipment Mistakes That Could Be Fatal

Changing up your workout routine can be the key to renewed motivation and energy at the gym, and that feeling of mastering a new machine that once intimidated you is unlike any other. However, if you want to stick to your trusty treadmill, or attempt to venture out onto unknown apparatus in the back corner of your gym, we urge you to be extra careful. If not, then your sweat session could end in catastrophe.

The treadmill, for example, may seem like a pretty safe choice. But according to The Healthy, treadmills account for 35% of gym-related visits to the ER. While most of these injuries can be treated, USA Today reported that in some cases, these accidents lead to hospitalization or fatality. This isn't an excuse to not make use of this popular machine to help you get your sweat on. It's just important to be realistic about your own performance before you hop on. "Picking an unrealistic speed can result in injury because you don't have the strength or efficiency in your cadence to maintain those speeds," says Emily Hutchins, owner of On Your Mark, and Nike Master Trainer. 

Jumping rope is also potentially dangerous

We don't want to keep droning on about the dangers of one of the most popular pieces of workout equipment. However, according to Men's Journal, it should be known that wearing the emergency shut-off clip that comes on most treadmills can save you from getting a skin graft or worse. "I've had several patients whose treadmill backed up against the wall who did not wear the key," says sports medicine physician Michael Jonesco. "They fell backwards, and while pinned against the wall, the tread continued to spin, peeling off layer after layer of skin. Those have been some of the worst abrasions I've seen to this day."

The next potentially dangerous piece of exercise equipment is something you likely mastered on the playground during recess growing up. Though it seems the stakes are raised if you hurt yourself jumping rope as an adult. "Accidents often happen because a rope is too long," says Andrea Fornarola Hunsberger, the founder of Elements Fitness. "Jump rope injuries include lacerations or whips to the skin from the rope or, even worse, black eyes and broken noses from the plastic handles" (per The Healthy).

Take extra care not to drop kettle bells or dumbbells

Per Men's Journal, Janessa M. Graves, an injury researcher at Washington State University, has also previously warned of the dangers of pull-up bar injuries. "Oftentimes, pull-up-bar injuries occur when guys are using too much momentum and the bar actually becomes unhinged from the doorframe." She adds, "Or, sometimes, guys just forget the bar is there, shut the door on it, and the bar comes crashing down."

It is also important to take extra special care when using dumbbells and kettlebells. Dropping one on your toe, or even, gasp, your head will most likely lead to a trip to the emergency room, Men's Journal reported. 

Again, the last thing we want to do is dissuade you from working out or trying something new at the gym. As Cris Dobrosielski, the owner of Monumental Results notes, "Exercise machines are convenient and are generally designed to be user-friendly" (via Daily Burn). So, now that you're more aware of the potential risk, you'll be more than prepared to be extra careful while working out.