What are 5 critical weight-lifting mistakes to avoid? When it comes to many exercises, it’s easy enough to complete the task. Going for a run? That’s something that you’ve been doing since you learned to master walking.
Even swimming, with a few lessons, can be something that you can get better at. But there are things outside of cardio-focused exercises that are good for you, including weight lifting.
But weight lifting is less than intuitive and can be difficult to understand what exercises work and what can harm you. That’s why finding a routine that works best for you is important before you dive in.
For starters, you need to think about what your goals are with your weight lifting. Do you want to tone, build, or improve some range of motion? Ready to learn more?
The gym is like an unsupervised adult playground. It’s easy to walk in and toss a few weights around. But if you don’t follow the right routine, you may buy yourself a one-way ticket to injury town.
Before you strap on your kicks for your next gym session, check out the five most common weight-lifting mistakes. Also, learn the best ways to avoid them so you can build a healthier, more resilient body for years to come.
Ready to upgrade your workout? Check your routine for these common mishaps. Here is our top 5 mistakes list:
People often make these common mistakes.
- Skipping the warmup
- Doing too many light-weight reps.
- Focusing on a general full-body warmup
- Only doing cardio
Instead, think about the work you’re about to do and warm up using the same movement patterns. For example, before a leg workout, warm up by doing the same types of movements you’ll do during strength training, such as:
- Bodyweight lunges
- Bodyweight squats
- Hip mobility movements
- Dead bugs
Your warmup goal is to let your body know what work you’re about to perform and increase blood flow to the right muscles.
You’ll progress fastest in your workout if you choose the right amount of weight. You want a weight heavy enough to force your muscles to adapt to more significant challenges. But you don’t want weights so heavy that you compromise your form or use the wrong muscle group to bear the work’s brunt.
Think like Goldilocks, and choose a weight in the middle. Make sure it challenges you on the last few reps in your set, but you can do all the reps with the correct form. The amount of weight will depend on the muscle group you’re working, the type of exercise, and your comfort level with different kinds of resistance. Mix things up by using dumbbells, bands, kettlebells, barbells, and machines. Above all else, listen to your body, which will tell you whether weight is right for you.
Workouts are an opportunity to make your body more resilient to the everyday stress it will encounter. But the 5 weight-lifting mistakes to avoid can abruptly prevent you from enjoying the benefits of weight-lifting. When structuring your workout routine, think about the movement patterns you do during the day. These could include:
- Climbing stairs
- Lifting heavy objects from the floor
- Running after a toddler.
- Carrying children
- Pulling weeds
- Recreational activities
- Playing fetch with your dog.
Often, injuries occur when people are doing daily tasks. Strength training is an opportunity to build strength to help prevent these types of injuries. Rather than solely focusing on building nice arms or a chiseled core, add exercises that mimic your everyday activities.
Humans are comfort creatures, which is why it’s easier to do the same thing in the gym all the time. But your body is smart, and it adapts to exercises quickly. Progress happens when you challenge your body in new ways by changing your workout routine often. One caveat: Make sure you still perform the same movement patterns so you continue to strengthen and build muscle that supports your daily life.
But make changes such as adding weight, switching the number of reps you do, or swapping out an exercise for another one in the same category. Try these changes:
• Swap lunges for squats
• Switch from doing a high number of reps to a low number of reps
• Use kettlebells instead of barbells
• Go from a double dumbbell press to a single dumbbell press
Your options are limitless, and the more you switch up your routine, the more likely you’ll stick to the gym. Change your workouts every four to eight weeks to challenge your body in new ways.
You may be tempted to omit the small stuff and go directly to the big lifts. Your body is good at faking strength. But if you don’t correctly strengthen the small, supportive, stabilizing muscles in the body, you may end up with big problems down the road, such as aches, pains, tightness, and injury.
As you structure your workout routine, add accessory exercises that help bolster larger muscles. For instance, if you work on squats, add band hip bridges. If bench pressing is your goal, do a set of pushups before you load the bar. Fake it until you make it doesn’t work in weight lifting because you’re only as strong as your weakest muscle group.
Wrapping It All Up
It’s better to learn proper lifting techniques than to train haphazardly. Take your time to warm up. Choose a weight that suits your workouts and your goals. Do exercises that help you prepare for everyday life, and mix up your routine. Avoid the five weight-lifting mistakes to avoid, and you’ll be on your way to building your most muscular body yet.
The article was originally posted on northwestpharmacy.com.