If you want to reach your fitness goals, resistance training will help you! Having more muscle in your body means you are able to burn fat easier, move better and most importantly, live a healthier life. However, none of these things will be possible if you injure yourself. Follow these fives tips for injury free lifting.
1. Don’t go too heavy too fast
When you first learn an exercise you should perform the movement with no weight. Once you have the form down, you can add 5-10 pounds at a time. Making a jump bigger than this will put you at risk for major injuries.
Too often people will copy the workout they see others doing because they want to look like that person. It’s okay to look up to men and women at your gym, but realize you are on a different path than them. Someone who is squatting with 200 pounds has been squatting for a while. Start light!
2. Work big to small
When you do certain exercises in your workout matters. You should always work your bigger muscles first. Exercises that use the thighs, back, chest and booty take a lot of energy and thus should be done when you have the most energy.
You should work the bigger muscles first AND do the bigger exercises first within your workout.
I recommend beginning your workout with compound lifts. Most compound lifts require you to use multiple muscles at once. These exercises are highly demanding and often feel like cardio. As I said before, you want to complete the exercises that require the most energy when you are feeling most energized.
3. Eat more fat
Fats, specifically omega-3 fatty acids, help ease inflammation. This means the more salmon, spinach and walnuts you eat, the quicker your joints will recover from a lift.
4. More modifications
If you are taking notes on my tips for injury free lifting, write this one down.
Everyone’s anatomy is different. This means that the “normal” way to do an exercise may not work for your body. If an exercise is not agreeing with your frame, skip it or change it.
If you feel pain in your joints or are simply unable to feel the correct muscles during an exercise, make adjustments. You body is built differently than everyone else’s, so you need to find your unique way of moving through your lifts.
5. Save static stretching for the cool down
Warming up before a workout is incredibly important and will help prep your muscles for what’s to come. However, you need to warm-up properly.
An effective warm-up should consist of mostly dynamic movements like leg swings and arm circles. You should also activate the muscles you will be using in your workout during your warm-up.
You should avoid doing static stretches. This is when you hold a stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds as an attempt to lengthen the muscle. Static stretching before a workout has been shown to cause instability in the joints. Save the static stretches for your cool down.