Thursday, June 3, 2010

Good Form for Weight Lifting

One wrong move and you'll feel it for days... yesterday I was doing some weight training circuits and lost my balance while doing traveling lunges with 15 pound weights. I should have taken the time to set up and follow through with good form because I woke up this morning with a minor foot injury. In that small window of losing my balance I must have twisted my ankle and foot alignment enough to cause injury.

What happened to me is a great example as to why you need to use good form and concentration. Here are some tips to making sure you avoid injury and get the most out of your workout:
  • Always warm up with stretching and add 5 minutes of cardio if possible
  • Slow down and don't rush your moves. That's when you fall out of alignment and risk injury (who wants to miss a workout due to your own laziness?). If you can have a spotter or trainer help you to make sure you are in proper form.
  • Use a lighter weight. When you use weights that are too heavy to control you tend to swing the weights and use momentum and could possibly end up with a lot of joint pain. You'll know when you are able to move up in weight (example: if you usually aim for 8-10 reps, but you can do more than 10 with your weight then it's time to move up!).
  • Use the targeted muscle to pull the weight, not your back, neck, etc. For example, when doing a bicep curl make sure your arms are at a 90 degree angle, your back is aligned, and your knees are not locked. If you don't you employ upper back muscles and neck muscles... places that aren't intended to be worked during this move and could be strained.
  • Most importantly, train to your capacity, not your goals! Everything takes time and you have to build up the proper strength and muscle. Even when getting workouts from a magazine or website if you can't complete the workout by their guidelines modify it to fit your needs. Eventually, you will be able to train at your goals, but until then be patient and do what matches your ability.

These are basic tips that sometimes people forget about. Do you have any tips that I missed? Comment and let me know!


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