Never take the phrase “no pain, no gain” at face value—pain while weightlifting is a red flag that you’re doing something wrong. And if you hurt yourself while weightlifting, you’ll not only set yourself back in strength training, you’ll also be more susceptible to injury in the same area. To avoid this, make sure you follow these five tips.
You wouldn’t run in flip-flops, and you shouldn’t do squats in jeans. Wear something that lets every part of you enjoy full range of motion. Your clothing should also be cool so that your body can regulate its temperature more easily.
Speaking of ranges of motion, you should always stretch before lifting. Improving flexibility is one of the easiest ways of preventing injury. Also, if you’re handling heavier weights, do a repetition of a lighter set to get your muscles working—no matter how many times you’ve benched 200 lbs. before, going straight to a 200 lbs. press after a few minutes of cardio is a poor decision.
To get the most out of your workout, you need to be practicing the proper form. The wrong form can put unnecessary strain where you don’t want it, lessening your gains and leading to injury. This means that you should never take on more weight than you can manage with proper form. If you cannot perform the exercise slowly with proper form and total control, then you need to lower the weight!
Go with someone or ask a fellow member, but just make sure you use a spotter when lifting. A spotter who can safely handle the weight you’re using will be able to take the strain off of you in case you bite off more than you can chew. Whether it’s saving you before you buckle from a squat and hurt your back or just preventing the awkwardly helpless look of a bench-presser stuck under a bar, a spotter is a must—it isn’t embarrassing, it’s a safety measure.
Don’t work out the same muscle groups two days in a row; give them a chance to recover. You may want to hurry your gains or perhaps you just enjoy a particular exercise, but working your body too hard will be counter-productive.
Perhaps a sixth important rule would be: ask for help! If you aren’t confident in your lifting, then ask someone experienced who can help you. At Rebuilding Champions, we have a combination of coaches and physical therapists who can ensure that you’re staying safe while making strides in your performance. Contact us today using the form on the right-hand side of your browser and sign up for some lessons with us!