Weight Training Tips: Get Stronger While Staying Injury-Free
Strength training is for more than just being the super jacked dude at the gym. Resistance and weight training have many benefits, from helping increasing bone density to maintaining better posture. But doing too much lifting can put a strain on your body when done incorrectly. Whether you're an experienced lifter or just starting your journey toward a ripped body, here are some tips to help you reduce the risk of injury when weight training.
The Heat is On: Warm Up
Trying to lift with cold muscles can be a recipe for injury. Make sure to warm up with at least 10 minutes of activity before trying to lift. This could be the elliptical or a mixture of stretches and other calisthenics or functional movements. Whatever quick warm-up routine you go with, make sure it gets your body primed for more physical activity.
Your form while you lift is more important than how much you lift. Lifting, even light weight, with poor form puts you at risk of injury. Before trying a new lift, it's best to try the movement with no weight on the bar or with just your body weight.
Timing your breathing is surprisingly a huge part of lifting weights. Everyone has a tendency to hold their breath while exerting. Instead, exhale as your work against the weight and inhale during the release. It will help deliver more power than trying to hold onto your breath.
Mix It Up
When you're working through a strength routine, it's important to change up how and when you train. If you work the same movements all the time, your body will get used to them and you'll plateau. Training various muscle groups intermittently throughout the week keeps your body from adapting too quickly. Make sure to switch to things like medicine balls and kettlebells to work your muscles in new, fun ways.
Over training, especially early in your fitness journey, can happen quickly. Make sure to give a specific muscle group at least one day of rest before training them again. On rest days, take time to stretch and foam roll your muscles to help them recover for your next training session.
Aside from helping to reduce some soreness, flexibility is key to weight lifting. Having muscles that can stretch and move naturally will allow you to better perform any lift you try.