Weight training is an essential part of any fitness routine. However, as with any physical activity, there are some risks involved, particularly if you’re lifting heavy weights or performing supersets for gains.
Get stronger and bigger – while avoiding strain and injury – by following these simple tips.
1. Practice Perfect Form
The number one reason injuries occur as a result of weight lifting is improper form. When you use heavier weights than your body can handle, your joints take undo stress, and your form will be sacrificed. Bad form combined with heavy weights is a recipe for injury. Start with light weights first and focus on perfecting your technique before moving up to heavier stuff.
2. Always Warm Up And Cool Down
Both warming up and cooling down are an essential part of any exercise routine. A warm-up prepares your body for upcoming exercises, warming the muscles so they can work better. Go for a five-minute run or perform jumping jacks for five minutes before beginning any weight lifting workout. You may also want to perform some dynamic movements of the muscles you will be targeting later in order to get them ready for lifting the heavy stuff. (For example, perform a set of regular squats and lunges before going into your set of barbell squats.) Always take time to stretch after a workout to help prevent sore muscles.
3. Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
If you go to a particularly busy gym or you tend to work out during peak hours, you know that the weight area can get very hectic, very quickly. Do not contribute to the chaos. Always take a look at your surroundings and make sure you have enough room to safely complete your exercise. Also: Always wipe down any equipment you use and put weights back where you found them.
4. Breathing And Posture
Holding your breath while lifting heavy weights can cause you to go faint or lightheaded. This is a recipe for disaster. Make sure you exhale during the peak of your movement and inhale at the bottom of your movements to ensure your brain and muscle are getting the oxygen they need. It is also important to check your posture; an incorrect posture greatly increases the risk of injuries. Hence, whenever you are lifting weights make sure you keep your knees slightly bent and your spine neutral.
5. Get Help From An Expert
Sometimes, we need to bring in the experts. If you’re not sure how to perform an exercise, or if you’re new to weight lifting, we highly recommend you enlist the help of a personal trainer. A personal trainer can ensure you are lifting weights in a safe, technically correct manner; plus, they can suggest the exact weights, reps, and moves you should be doing in order to reach your goals.