Everyone wants that beach body look, but are you looking after your joints at the same time?
A joint is defined where muscles & bones come together, to help produce movement and stability. Weight lifting/ Strength training overall has positive effects on your strengthening your joints. If you find pain tends to happen, its most likely due to improper weight lifting methods, such as bad form or you're using too much weight (To note, if you do experience symptoms of pain, consult with your physician).
There's numerous supplements you can take to help with joint pain, but before we get into that, we are going to discuss what you can do in preparation to your workout.
As stated previously, watch your form, having bad form/bad posture when training can cause joint injuries and pain. I always recommend looking in the mirror when training to see what your doing. Another great tip is to video your big lifts from various angles, so you can see where you may be compensating. Don't overdue the weight, this comes with bad form. You may think lifting past your max is beneficially, but synergistically you're going to be using compensatory movements from other muscles, bones & joints in other parts of the body, which can lead to synergistic dominance (Muscles that compensate, to take over the function of the prime mover). Listen to your body, if something hurts, doesn't feel right, or feels like it needs rest, then STOP. Remember to take rests days, rather then powering through when you're sore, or try another exercise or muscle group if an exercise is painful. Complete your reps in a controlled manor, think about your eccentric (lowering phase) movement, just as much as you do your concentric movement (Lifting phase). In fact, many studies have shown that eccentric movements have a greater impact on strength gains made during a movement then concentric.
Moving on, so you may be taking protein and performance supplements, but are you taking anything for your joint health?
1) By far the most known, and used fish oils. Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory effects. A study by 'L Clin Epidemiol' showed significant effects fish oil had on rheumatoid arthritis.
2) Glucosamine sulfate. Being a natural component of Cartilage, which helps prevent bones from rubbing together, causing pain & inflammation. Glucosamine sulfate has been shown to have positive effects on improving joint health over a prolonged period (Study by Persiani S, et al)
3) Chondroitin sulfate. Being a natural component of Cartilage providing structure, holding water and nutrients. Chondroitin sulfate has also shown to have positive effects on joint pain and health over a prolonged period (Study by Jasvinder A. Singh)
4) Vitamin D. It has been shown that people with less vitamin D tend to experience joint pain. Vitamin D aids in absorption of calcium and helps to build bone mass and prevent bone loss. You will find a lot of supplements containing Vitamin D also contain calcium. You can get Vitamin D supplements, or from foods such as but not limited to Fish, Milk, Egg yolk.
To conclude, when trying to get your perfect body, remember to think about your health and not just on how you look. Having healthy joints is a huge contributor in exercise and daily living. I know myself a few years back, for a period, fell into the mistake of just trying to look good without caring for the health of my joints and other aspects of health related issues, ending up being stiff, poor posture and sore all the time. It will catch up with you in the end. You don't have to completely change your diet and training around, just be smart, use good form in the gym, don't over train, listen to your body, add nutritious foods into your diet, maybe add a joint supplement, and with all this you will feel so much better for it! Again, if you do have any pain/stiffness make sure to consult your physician about any issues you may have!