Weightlifting for Beginners
By Donna Stark
If you are looking to enhance your active lifestyle and want to do more at the gym than your daily runs on a treadmill, weightlifting may be your solution. But unlike that cheesecake you devoured last night, this isn't something that you can just dive into. Beginner weightlifters need to start slowly, because going from that treadmill to lifting 100 pounds over your shoulders isn't wise, and it's even worse if you don't know the right lifting technique. So slow down. You certainly don't want any injuries now that you have decided to do more for your body, and you especially don't want to injure your back!
Reduce Your Risk of Injury
Any exercise in the gym has the potential to hurt your back, but the most common back injuries that occur typically come from weightlifting, and poor posture or improper technique are to blame. Think about it. From dead lifts to bench presses to those miserable squats, you are placing an increased and unfamiliar weight on your spine. But that doesn't mean you should edit those exercises off your list, you just need to be careful. Here are some tips on how to lift safely.
- Stretch before you start
- Keep your focus on the proper form and technique
- Confirm your back is straight and your shoulders aren't hunched forward
- Bend at your knees
- Lift within your limits, don't overload on weight
- Avoid pushing yourself beyond the point of fatigue
- Maintain a tight grip
- Engage the surrounding muscles to avoid hyperextending your lower back
- Use a spotter or workout partner for help
For the Beginner
Beginner weightlifters should slowly make their way to the desired outcome and not rush through the process. This means that you may have to start at a lower weight than you wanted so that you can see how well your body responds. It is definitely a lot easier to simply add more weight when you are ready for it than to deal with a serious injury, right? So take your time and approach every new set with the same care and focus as your first. You may even want to try using less weight but adding in more repetitions. This is a great way to learn the proper technique and to focus on your posture while still getting in a pretty serious workout!
Weightlifting provides a wonderful opportunity to transform your body and improve your overall health and wellness, but only if it is done safely! By taking the proper precautions and planning ahead, you can count on finding success in no time. So go ahead! Get off that treadmill and add some more challenge to your workouts by incorporating weights. Just save the "diving in" for your fork and that piece of cake.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Loganville, Ga.