Lifting weights is a great way of building muscle strength, developing lean muscle and ensuring that your bones stay healthy. All in all, it’s a great way to maintain your overall state of health and fitness. However, weight lifting in the incorrect manner can very quickly lead to injury which will put your gym sessions on hold so slowing down your progress.
To prevent this from happening, there are a number of safety precautions that you can take to make sure that you stay injury free when lifting weights. Here are a couple.
Weight lifting safety tips
Adopt the correct form
When lifting weights, always make sure that you adopt the correct form. All exercises are specifically designed to work a particular muscle and will only do this if you perform the exercise as it was intended. However, if you don’t do this, you’ll end up putting strain on a muscle that you weren’t supposed to.
For example, with the abdominal crunch – which is a fabulous exercise for strengthening your core muscles and developing a six pack – many people pull themselves up off the floor by pulling on their necks. This strains the neck and causes unnecessary neck pain and tension. What they should be doing is activating their abdominal muscles and using the power generated from this to lift themselves up.
Watch this video for a demonstration of how to do an abdominal crunch correctly:
Don’t lift weights that are too heavy for you
A rule of thumb is that you should only work with weights that you can lift comfortably while maintaining the correct form. If you are struggling just to lift the weights, chances are very good that you’ll be concentrating just on this and not on anything else. We know that many weight lifters feel that it’s a point of pride to lift the heaviest weights possible but start with what you can manage and build yourself up. You won’t do yourself any favours by injuring yourself because the weights that you were lifting were too heavy.
Always wear closed shoes when lifting weights
The weight section in a gym – especially the free weights section – can get crowded specifically at peak times. Many people lifting weights drop their weights very suddenly after a set so if your feet are in the way – and you are wearing sandals – you could end up with a broken toe or foot. So always wear a pair of cross trainers when you are training with weights.
Have a spotter
In the weights section of the gym, you’ll often see two people working out together. One will be doing an exercise, such as a bench press, while the other person will be watching them. This person is the spotter. When the person doing the exercise is finished, they will help the exerciser put the barbell back on the rack.
If you’re trying out new sets of weights, it’s always a good idea to have a spotter. This is so that it you find that you’re not able to complete a set your spotter will be able to help you put the weights down.
At Trifocus Fitness Academy, we take the continuing education of all our personal trainers very seriously. This is why we’ve developed our Olympic Lifting CPD Course to assist trainers in getting up to speed with the do’s and don’t of weight lifting so that they can offer this service to their clients. We have a great range of CPD courses for personal trainers. Visit our website to find out more.