Pumping Iron? Use These Safety Tips for Weight Training Beginners
Weight training is one of the most useful types of exercise for anyone to have in their routine. It can help you to improve your overall fitness, tone and sculpt your physique, lose weight, and enjoy the functional benefits of being able to lift heavier items. If you don’t lift properly, though, it’s easy to hurt yourself with a sprain, strain, or fracture. Whether you’re new to weight training or you’ve dabbled in the past, be sure to follow these safety tips while you lift.
Get Your Form Right from the Start
Many weightlifting injuries come from simply not using the right form, which can put too much pressure on specific areas. Poor form can also make your workouts less effective, and we all want to use our workout time wisely.
If you’re starting out, it can be worth the cost to buy a few sessions with a personal trainer or instructor who can teach you the proper form in person. If that isn’t in the budget, technology is your best friend. Look up videos (not just pictures) of the proper form for the moves you’re trying to do. While you learn from the videos, watch yourself in the mirror and adjust your form as needed.
Choose Your Footwear Wisely
You may not think footwear is important with weight training because you aren’t running or walking, but it makes an important difference. Always wear athletic shoes that are comfortable and supportive and, most importantly, shoes that have strong traction so you don’t slip and fall.
Learn the Breathing Technique
When you’re lifting weights, it’s easy to accidentally hyperventilate (breathe too quickly) or hold your breath, and either of these can make you faint. To prevent this, follow a simple pattern during each move: exhale while you lift the weight and inhale while you lower it. This should be at the pace of a normal breath or slightly slower.
Understand Your Limits
One of the most misunderstood concepts in weightlifting is what it means to be able to lift a certain weight – it doesn’t just mean you can physically get the weight above your head. The amount of weight you can lift for any given move is the weight you can lift while remaining in full control of the movement throughout all of your reps. If you’re only able to lift a certain weight by lifting it quickly, you’re not able to lift it, you’re using the momentum of the movement, and that’s a recipe for an injury. The saying is that if you can’t lift it slowly, you can’t lift it.
Weight training is a valuable exercise that you can easily customize to your strength and fitness level, but it needs to be done with care and safety. The tips above can help you stay safe while you get fit and toned. For more fitness expertise, check out our Mommy and Me fitness program and follow us on Instagram.