Whenever you’re working out, you have a chance of being injured, but you can mitigate these odds through being safe and knowing proper form. Perhaps nowhere is this truer than when lifting weights. People love lifting weights, but many people (more than would care to admit) don’t know how to lift properly. So perhaps the new question ought to become, “Do you even lift properly, bro?” It’s a serious question worth asking.
What do you do before lifting?
When you’re lifting weights, what you do before you even start will determine your level of success and ability to stay injury-free. Men’s Health Magazine raises a number of good points about the proper pre-lifting routine, but one of their best reminders is about hydration. Human muscles are 75% water, which means they need h2o in order to function. The time to hydrate is before your workout, not during or after. You’ll also want to warm up gently. Never lift cold.
What to do during lifting?
- Check that you have two towels. You’ll want one to wipe off weights as you go and one for when you’re finished. Don’t wipe your body off with the same towel used on machines and weights.
- Use the proper amount of weight. What’s the proper amount? Not so much that you need momentum to lift and no so little that you can burn through a set of fifty reps like you’re lifting a kitten.
- Move slowly. Most people try to race through their lifting reps like it’s some kind of…race. Well, it’s not a race. In fact, the beauty of weight lifting is that it requires slow, controlled movement to fully engage your muscles without risking injury and to maximize results.
Keep these basic tips in mind and stay safe and healthy. Remember; always check with your doctor before trying a new strenuous activity. If you’ve never lifted before, or are getting back in the game, keep in mind that your body will need time to acclimate to this type of workout. Go easy on yourself and have fun.