People lift weights to get more toned and fit by building muscle mass. It can also boost metabolism and make your weight loss efforts more effective, while challenging both your mind and body. It’s important to know, though, that weightlifting can be dangerous without following the proper precautions, and injuries can result from carelessness, poor technique, and carelessness. You can prevent painful injuries by following a few important tips and ensuring you are prepared before you lift the barbells.
Remember, before you ramp up your fitness routine, it’s a good idea to speak to your primary care doctor for tips on how to make weightlifting safer and to address any muscle weakness you may have. If you’re currently recovering from some type of injury, you should consult with your physician, who may refer you to a physical therapist.
Always Warm Up First & Cool Down at the End of Your Workout
Take the time to get your muscles ready for a workout by stretching and getting the blood flowing. That way, your muscles, tendons, and ligaments will be prepared for the strain of working out. A good way to warm up is by walking on an incline on the treadmill, or using the elliptical machine or stationary bike on higher resistance.
Just as it’s important to warm up, you should also do a proper cool down and stretch your body to ensure you prevent lactic acid buildup which will make you sorer in the following days.
Why it’s Important to Use Proper Form
Form is critical when it comes to weightlifting, and you should only lift the appropriate amount. Lifting more than you’re ready to handle in bad form is a surefire way to injure yourself, not to mention it’ll deter you from ever wanting to lift weights again. If you don’t have the proper form, you can overload the muscles, especially if you repeatedly use the same muscles and cause an overuse injury.
The Dos and Don’ts of Weightlifting
Keep these “dos” in mind when practicing safe weightlifting:
- Do use a spotter for heavy lifting.
- Do keep your back as straight as possible.
- Do use proper technique when re-racking weights.
- Do wear shoes that have good traction.
- Do make sure your equipment is in good condition.
Make sure to avoid these things when lifting weights:
- Don’t hyperventilate or hold your breath, which can make you lightheaded and lose control of the weights. Breathe in and out at an even pace.
- Don’t push through the pain. Stop if you feel pain, or try with lighter weights.
- Don’t exercise any set of muscles more than 2-3 times a week (that’s the reason why some people refer to their workout days as “leg day,” “abs day,” and so on).
- Don’t “cheat” on your technique so you can lift heavier weights.
Want to learn more about safer weightlifting? Contact ProFysio today at (732) 812-5200.