Better train safe than be sorry! Weight training or weight lifting has been around for ages, but it’s been gaining popularity only recently. When training with weights to gain muscle mass and lose weight, safety is an essential factor to be considered because one wrong lift and you might land up with a sprained ligament. Before you jump onto the bandwagon, here are 10 things you absolutely need to know to be safe during your weight training.
Technique is exceptionally crucial while weight training. You may see people at the gym or in magazines and try to imitate them, but you might not be doing it correctly. This increases your risk of getting hurt. If you are not sure of the correct technique or form of exercise, ask a trainer to help you out.
What we mean to say is, start your weight training with a 10-minute warm-up. Cold muscles tend to injure more easily. Get them warmed up to start exercising. A good warm-up also prepares your body to breathe right and get enough oxygen during your exercise session. This way, you don’t get tired too quickly.
With the motivation so high, you may be tempted to take up more weight too quickly. If you are a beginner, start out with 12-15 repetitions (reps) with light dumbbells or adjustable straps for your wrists and ankles. You don’t want to injure your muscles by taking on more than you can handle. One set of 12-15 reps can cause enough fatigue to the muscle to build its strength efficiently. You can increase weight gradually as you become stronger.
Also, don’t overdo the number of sets as it can cause an overload injury. A 20- to 30-minute session of weight training is enough for you to see the effects in just 3 months.
The gym you go to may put up posters saying “no pain, no gain”. But too much pain is also no gain. You might be overloading your muscles. If you are determined to start a particularly taxing lift or exercise, you could do this exercise by itself and see if it works for you. You could also try the same exercise with less weight for the first few days.
Sometimes, you might find the weights you are lifting so heavy that you just want to get it over with. Weight training doesn’t work like that. You need to take it slow. Don’t let the momentum lift the load for you. When you lift slowly, you are able to use a specific muscle in isolation. Another essential technique of weight training is putting the weight down back slowly. Don’t depend on gravity to put it down for you; use your muscle instead for better results.
Resting is as essential as exercise. It is not necessary to work all the muscles out on the same day or for 2 consecutive days. Maybe you can work on your upper body today and your lower body 2 days later. That way, your muscles get the chance to recover and perform better the next time.
You might be wondering why you need to wear shoes indoors when weight training. It’s the shoes that protect you from slipping or falling. They provide excellent traction and support your feet when you are lifting weights.
It is necessary to seek balance. You can’t keep working on just one muscle all the time. It’s a balance of all the different muscles that make your body physically fit. Remember to work the opposite muscles to tone your body just right. If you train your core abdominal muscles today, remember to train a different part, like the thigh, the next time.
Endurance, strength, flexibility and balance are the four types of exercises that should be incorporated into any physical activity routine. Endurance is the cardio part, flexibility is the stretching, balance is yoga and strength is weight training. The American Heart Association recommends that one must perform the right mix of all four to gain the benefits of physical activity. You don’t need to do all of it in one day, but a combination of these in a week would not only add variety but also make you thoroughly fit.
We tend to hold our breath when doing any specific exercise or pose, be it during weight training or yoga. However, breathing is essential. It not only gives you the extra oxygen you need for burning the calories but also boosts your metabolism.
Follow these safe weight-training tips, and you’ll soon be in the best shape. To know more about safe weight training, talk to our experts on the HealthAssure app to help you lose weight safely for the long term.
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