Everyone knows that they should warm up but not everyone does it, mostly because it is kind of boring. Working as a Glasgow personal trainer rule one in my gym is "don't get hurt". I would suggest it is better to suffer the boredom of a 10 minute warm up rather than a 10 week minimum rehabilitation of a major muscle tear. A bit of light cardio like skipping for 5 minutes followed by another 5 minutes of active bodyweight circuits is enough to dramatically cut the risk of injury.
Dynamic lifting, performing a traditional exercise at speed, is an excellent training method but it is more applicable for increasing sporting performance than general fitness. The sudden nature of dynamic movements increases the risk of injury as the forces going through the body are much higher than normal. For these reasons it is safer to train with a deliberate tempo.
From time to time everyone experiences a sudden twang of pain when exercising. When this happens you must stop training that area immediately. Continuing to work on an area that is slightly damaged will only make the problem much worse. Leave it to heal and don't put anymore pressure on it until it is pain free in everyday situations. Then ease back into training and before gradually building back up. This "stitch in time" can save you months by stopping a little niggle becoming a big injury.
Training with sloppy technique is a great way to pick up serious injuries, usually to the low back or shoulders, that stay with you for years. Most guys think it is more important to lift the heaviest weight possible the second they step into a gym. What you should do is build a solid technical foundation before you start loading up the weight. That way you won't constantly be limited by nagging injuries every time you train. If you want to be strong you have got to stay healthy.
Most people have favourite body parts they like to train and spend much more time on them than anything else. This leads to over development muscles gradually pulling joints out of correct alignment and chronic joint pain. It can take years for this to become a problem and it can take just as long to fix. This is why you should give equal emphasis to all areas of the body and never play favourites.
Iain Smith (MPhil/CSCS) owns Standout Gym, an independent warehouse gym in Glasgow focusing on weight loss. He offers small group training as an affordable alternative to Glasgow personal training. Iain is a former international decathlete with 17 years coaching experience. For more information visit his website at www.standoutgym.com