What are five critical weightlifting mistakes to avoid? When it comes to many exercises, it’s easy enough to complete the task—going for a run? You’ve been doing that since you learned to master walking. With a few lessons, even swimming can be something that you can get better at. But there are things outside of cardio-focused exercises that are good for you, including weightlifting.
But weightlifting is less than intuitive and can be challenging to understand what exercises work and what can harm you. So finding a routine that works best for you is essential before diving in. For starters, you need to think about what your goals are with your weightlifting. 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 proper routine, you may buy yourself a one-way ticket to injury town. So check out the five most common weightlifting mistakes before strapping on your kicks for your next gym session. 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:
Your warmup should match your workout goals. Before you begin your exercise routine, you must prime the body for the specific work you’re about to perform.
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 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. Of course, you want a heavy weight 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 with, the type of exercise, and your comfort level with different 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 five weightlifting mistakes to avoid can abruptly prevent you from enjoying the benefits of weightlifting. 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, so it’s easier to do the same thing in the gym all the time. But your body is bright, 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 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. So change your workouts every four to eight weeks to challenge your body in new ways.
It may tempt you 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 enormous 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 weightlifting 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 weightlifting mistakes to avoid, and you’ll be on your way to building your most muscular body yet.
The article was initially posted on northwestpharmacy.com.