With weight training there are a number of best practices that you should adhere to – and some worst practices you should avoid…
Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to weight training
What to do when weight training
Lift an appropriate amount of weight
Start with a weight you can lift comfortably between 12 and 15 times. For most people, a single set of 12 repetitions with the proper weight can build strength just as efficiently as can three sets of the same exercise. As you get stronger, gradually increase the amount of weight.
User proper form
Learn to do each exercise correctly. The better your form the better your results and the less likely you are to hurt yourself. If you’re unable to maintain good from decrease the weight or the number of repetitions. Remember that proper form matters even when you pick up and replace your weights on the weight racks. If you’re not sure whether you’re doing a particular exercise correctly ask a personal trainer or other fitness specialist for help.
You might be tempted to hold your breath while you’re lifting weights. Don’t! Holding your breath can lead to dangerous increases in blood pressure. Instead, breathe out as you lift the weight and breath in as you lower the weight.
Work all of your major muscles – abdominals, legs, chest, back, shoulders and arms. Strengthen the opposing muscles in a balanced way such as the front of the shoulder and the back of the shoulder.
Avoid exercising the same muscles two days in a row. You might work all of your major muscle groups at a single session two to three times a week. Alternatively, plan daily sessions for specific muscle groups. For example, on a Monday work your arms and shoulders, on Tuesday work your legs, and so on.
What not to do in a weight training session
Skip your warm-up
Cold muscles are more prone to injury than are warm muscles. Before you lift weights warm up with five to 10 minutes of brisk walking or any other aerobic activity.
Move the weight in an unhurried, controlled fashion. Taking it slow helps you to isolate the muscles you want to work and keeps you from relying on momentum to lift the weight.
For most people, completing one set of exercises to the point of fatigue is typically enough. Additional sets may only eat your time and contribute to overload injury.
Work through the pain
If an exercises causes pain, stop. Try it again in a few days or try it with less weight.
The proper form
With any weight training exercise, there are number of techniques to each movement. The squat, for example, has seven possible variations. One of these is the hip hinge.
When most people try to squat their knees protrude far over their toes. Their bum goes straight down and their heels come off the floor. This happens because proper squat technique requires some hip flexibility, proper balance and a hip hinge.
Each time you squat you should hinge your hips so that your glutes move backwards during the downward phase of the squat. Your knees will no longer protrude well over your toes. If you are tall this may happen but make sure it does not put pressure on your knees. Finally, the pressure of the squat will be on your heels instead of your toes and your will be able to get more depth to your squat.
Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Personal Training Diploma will instruct you in all the dos and don’ts of every exercise modality that you can imagine. And this is just the tip of the iceberg! For more information on what you’ll learn on this course and to register, follow this link.