It doesn’t matter if you are a pro athlete or looking for ways to maintain your health and fitness – weight lifting is an important part of a well-balanced training routine. Before you start into a new weight lifting routine, it’s smart to talk to a personal trainer or doctor for recommendations.
You’ll want to ease into this new fitness routine and make sure you are using the proper weight lifting technique. Over time, you can increase weight and repetitions to match the strength you are building.
Why Include Weight Training in Your Routine?
Correct form and consistent training have a noticeable impact on your overall fitness and health. Here are a few reasons why weight lifting should be part of everyone’s exercise schedule. Weight lifting helps to:
- Increase strength
- Decrease fat storage
- Optimize muscle tone
- Boost bone density
These benefits are only available if you are following industry recommendations and following a regular schedule to build muscle over time.
Why Weight Lifting Technique Matters
Seemingly simple changes in your weight lifting technique have significant differences on the overall results you can achieve. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is lifting weights without learning about recommended form and technique.
Remember that you are adding weight to the movement, which can put additional pressure on your joints and muscles. Using an incorrect weight lifting technique can result in a variety of injuries, such as:
You’ll experience immediate pain, with ongoing symptoms that disrupt your exercise efforts in the future.
How to Learn Proper Techniques for Weight Training
You can learn various techniques by observing other people in the gym. But make sure you are watching someone who knows what they are doing. Just because you see others doing the same thing, doesn’t mean that it is a safe technique.
When you are just getting started, it’s worth the investment to work with a personal training. A knowledgeable expert in the fitness industry will teach you the optimal way to lift weights and protect your body at the same time.
Personal trainers are easy to access through a local gym. Or, you can talk to another industry expert, such as an athletic trainer, physical trainer, or any other type of fitness specialist.
Even if you’ve been using weights for a while, you might consider improving your technique by scheduling a training session. This meeting is a valuable way to assess your current technique so you can identify anything that you should fix.
Weight Lifting Don’ts
These common issues with weight lifting technique and other training mistakes can increase your risk of injury. Avoid doing these things when you hit the gym:
- Don’t Push Through the Pain: If you experience pain when lifting the weights, then stop the action right away. Pain is an indication that something is wrong. Try the exercise again with less weight. Or wait for another day before trying that activity again.
- Don’t Skip Your Warm Up: Take time to warm the muscles with gentle movement and stretching. When the muscles are cold, you are more prone to injury. You only need 5 or 10 minutes of movement to get the muscles warm enough for your weight training session.
- Don’t Skim on Equipment: You might be motivated to buy cheap exercise equipment as a way to save money. But it’s worth the investment to use things that will protect you from injury. Make sure you are using quality shoes to avoid slipping when you are weight lifting. Spend the money on quality equipment that is built to last.
- Don’t Move Too Fast: Don’t rely on the momentum to lift the weight. The best way to strengthen the muscle is by using controlled, unhurried movements. When you are lifting and lowering, be deliberate about slow movements to isolate the muscles you are targeting.
Weight Lifting Do’s
In addition to habits that you should avoid when weight lifting, it’s just as important to add specific actions to improve your benefits and safety. Here are some of the best practices for weight lifting:
- Choose the Right Amount of Weight: More isn’t necessarily better. The risk of injury goes up if you are trying to lift too much weight. Instead, start with a weight that you can lift comfortable for 12 to 15 repetitions. Then, you can continue increasing the weight in future training sessions.
- Proper Weight Lifting Technique: Take the time to learn how to perform each technique correctly. In addition to improving your results, optimal form is also important to protect you from injury. Even the form of small movements matters, such as when you are lifting or returning weights to the rack.
- Train All Parts of the Body: Be proactive about rotating your weight lifting exercises for different parts of the body. Aim to work all of your major muscles, including the legs, chest, core, hips, shoulders, back, and arms.
- Plan for Cross Training: While there are many benefits available from weight lifting, it can also be helpful to cross train with other forms of exercise. Mix it up with fitness classes, cardio, and yoga.
- Keep on Breathing: It’s a natural reaction to hold your breath when you are lifting something heavy. Pay attention to your breathing patterns so you can be deliberate about maintaining good breathing while you are lifting. The ideal breathing pattern is to breathe in as you lower the weight and breathe about when you are lifting the weight.
- Schedule Time to Rest: The risk of injury goes up when you overwork specific muscle groups. For example, you should avoid weight lifting the same muscle group two days in a row. Schedule times to rest. An ideal method is to plan daily sessions for different muscle groups. For example, you can weight lift for arm strength on Mondays and Wednesdays, then work on leg strength on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Are you looking for a way to integrate a weight lifting routine in your fitness schedule? Our team offers great facilities and a friendly staff. We invite you to join Fitness Nation so you can have a quality place to go when you are working out.