Weight lifting is an excellent sport to enter into seriously or have as a hobby to keep your body in top shape.
Whether you choose to participate in competitive weight lifting or only do a few repetitions using light weights with your exercise program, you should learn the proper weight lifting techniques to keep your from injury.
Many individuals are afraid to begin a weight lifting program simply because the tools and techniques may seem foreign.
Fear not—learn the proper techniques and reap the benefits of your hard work.
1. Work With a Trainer
If you wouldn’t dream of replacing your car’s radiator without the help of a mechanic, then why should you attempt to begin a weight lifting program without help of a professional trainer?
Many individuals over look this excellent resource when it comes to learning about proper exercise techniques.
Working with a trainer will not only allow you to completely understand the necessary tips, he or she will also come up with a program that will accomplish all your goals and needs.
2. Use a Spotter
Regardless how much weight you are using in your weight lifting routine, failing to use a spotter can result in serious injury.
In addition to the company and encouragement a spotter provides, he or she is protecting you against the threat of harm.
Even if you are working out in a gym filled with people, a spotter is crucial since his or her attention is trained on your at all times.
In addition to having a spotter, remember to return the favor and be a proper spotter to your training partner.
3. Start Small
Many individuals jump into weight training thinking they are capable of lifting much more weight than is safe.
The key to weight lifting is not lifting a tremendous amount once, but rather lifting a proper amount of weight many times using the proper techniques.
Your muscles do not develop by hefting too-heavy weights, but are developed by properly advancing the amount of weights used and your number of repetitions.
By starting small, you will ensure your body is capable of lifting the weight and not allow yourself to become injured.
4. Know When to Say When
Many weight lifters fail to give their muscles the necessary time needed for rebuilding. As you lift weights, your muscles are stretched and strained.
To prevent injury, you should have a weight lifting program that is carefully interjected between necessary periods of rest and recovery.
Avoid lifting weights on a daily basis or limit the number of repetitions and weight you lift.
Also, know when enough is enough in your routine.
If you feel yourself beginning to tire or feel pain, immediately stop the exercise before you potentially injure yourself.
Also, avoid trying to impress others in the gym by loading on too much weight.
You are working to improve your body, so no one else should factor into this equation.
5. Let Your Wounds Heal
Far too many weight lifters ignore their bodies and push themselves back to top performance level after an injury.
If you experience any injury from weight lifting, seek medical help from your primary healthcare provider.
He or she will be able to estimate the amount of time the injury needs to completely heal.
Be sure to abide by the doctor’s instructions and take your first weight lifting session slow when you are physically capable of returning to the gym.
You may need to spend as much as two weeks working your way back up to the number of repetitions and amount of weight you were lifting before the injury.
Going back into the gym with too much enthusiasm after an injury can potentially re-injure and old wound.
8 Reasons to Start Strength Training
1. Rev up your metabolism.
After a few dates with some dumbbells, both guys and gals will notice an increase in resting metabolic rate.
And with the right diet, routine lifting may help you lose weight more effectively than cardio alone.
2. Build muscle.
Whether the goal is strength gains or weight loss, there’s a lifting regimen that will deliver optimal results.
And, as you get older, strength training can help combat the natural decline in muscle and bone density (HIIT training may be especially effective at fighting osteoporosis).
3. Prevent injury.
Lifting weights is key to staying injury free.
In addition to muscles being stronger, studies show that resistance training can lead to stronger ligaments and tendons (those are the tough connective tissues that hold bone to bone or muscle to bone, respectively), meaning you’re less prone to tears or other injuries in everyday activities.
4. Increase flexibility.
Over time, resistance training may help improve flexibility.
In one study of sedentary women, moderate strength training did just that—no down dog required.
5. Get stronger bones.
If chugging glasses of milk just isn’t your thing (hello, Paleo fans!), weight training may be just the fix you need.
Lifting will help bones toughen up, which can lower the risk for fractures.
6. Jump-start power.
Eager to sprint faster or jump higher?
An extra dose of dumbbells can work fast-twitch muscles, the speedy muscle fibers responsible for generating power.
The result: You’ll see gains the next time you play a game of tennis or basketball, in addition to getting stronger in the gym.
7. See results… fast.
One final physical incentive?
Strength training can offer speedy results.
It only takes two to three weekly sessions (for less than a month) to see muscles shape up.
Not interested in bench pressing 200 pounds?
Not to worry: Lifting lighter weights can also be effective at building muscle—as long as you’re still causing muscle fatigue.
8. Get strong anywhere.
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but you don’t need a gym membership to start getting stronger.
There are plenty of ways to strength train at home with no equipment.
Try our 30-minute bodyweight workout or this 15-minute HIIT routine to get started ASAP.