Lifting weights the proper way

Using improper form can lead to injury and a lack of results

Using improper form can lead to injury and a lack of results.

Then you take time off from the gym, have a sour attitude towards it and the goals slip away. It’s as simple as that.

Weight training is a wonderful way to build muscle, protect bones, burn calories, and stay in shape. Does the weight room at the gym intimidate you? Maybe you don’t know where to start or how to perform the exercises.

You may be tempted to just copy the exercises your neighbors are doing, but they may be doing things the wrong way. This is where your personal trainer comes in handy.

With your personal trainer, you have immediate access to a world of knowledge and expertise to help you develop a weight-training routine that’s safe and effective.

Some degree of caution when beginning weight training is good. This is because lifting weights requires proper technique in order to protect yourself from injury and to get the most out of your workout.

Learning proper form as a beginner is key to avoiding bad habits that are hard to break later on.

Trainers may differ on their views of lifting technique, but most can agree on the following tips for proper form.

Watch your back – when it comes to lifting weights, one of your main priorities should be protecting your back. Because they’re involved in almost every exercise, your back and spine are at risk for injury if good form is ignored. As you perform each exercise, maintain back alignment to reduce stress on your spine and build lower back strength.

For the majority of exercises, proper back alignment means keeping your back flat or slightly arched. Do this by slightly pushing out your chest and bringing your shoulder blades together.

You may also need to tilt your pelvis slightly forward to help keep your lower back straight.

Go easy on your joints.

Because of the bending, rotating, and extending that are involved with weight training, special care must be taken to protect your joints. This includes your knees, elbows, hips, shoulders and ankles.

As you move through the range of motion required, use slow, controlled movements.

Let your muscles move the weight, rather than letting the weight pull you all over the place. And avoid locking your knees and elbows, but keep them slightly bent the entire time.

Increase weight gradually. It’s difficult to maintain proper form when you’re lifting weights too heavy for your fitness level. So don’t plan to wow anyone with your lifting ability the first few months of training.

Rather, start out with an amount of weight you can lift without any strain for a set of 12 to 15 reps.

Gradually increase the weight each week as your strength increases. Download a weight lifting app that comes with high ratings as a guide for increasing your load.

To protect your body as you lift, meet your trainer or a friend at the gym who can spot you during heavy lifting and remind you of proper form. Dropping a barbell or dumbbell on your chest or feet can cause serious injury, and having a second person onhand can go a long way toward preventing such an accident.

Breathe through each exercise. You might not think it, but breathing plays an important role in weight lifting. Proper breathing helps keep your core stable and your spine aligned. Never hold your breath while lifting, but remember to breath continuously through each repetition.

A general recommendation is to forcefully exhale through your mouth as you lift a weight or exert yourself and inhale deeply through your nose as you lower a weight or relax a muscle.

Do it all. Muscle imbalance can lead to injury and an imbalanced physique. Overtraining your quads can lead to weak hamstrings and strong biceps can mean weak triceps.

Your workout routine should include exercises that work all muscles, taking care to strengthen opposing muscles equally.

Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and the owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer.

Just Posted

Innisfail RCMP investigate serious collision west of Innisfail

One of the passengers was taken by STARS air ambulance to the hospital

The Red Deer Home Renovation & Design Show runs through to Sunday at Westerner Park

Lots of ideas for fall renovation, decor, design, organization, construction and indoor living projects

Red Deer RCMP investigate second failed ATM theft attempt

This is the second attempt to steal the ATM from Eastview IGA in less than a week

Get your scare on at the annual Zed Haunted House

The haunted house opens tonight at 6833 66th St.

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Migrants, police mass in town on Guatemala-Mexico border

Many of the more than 2,000 Hondurans in a migrant caravan trying to wend its way to the United States left spontaneously with little more than the clothes on their backs and what they could quickly throw into backpacks.

Trump: ‘Severe’ consequences if Saudis murdered Khashoggi

Pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak on Wednesday said it had obtained audio recordings of the alleged killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Most Read