The benefits of weight lifting have been documented often over the years. However, beginners should exercise caution before lifting their first dumbbell. All of the fads over the years, including shake weights and some home gym systems, can’t replace good old fashioned weight training. Here are 10 tips for lifting weights safely.
Wear the right clothes and shoes
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a weight lifting wardrobe, but it is also important to understand how the right clothes can actually help. Jeans, for instance, will restrict movement and potentially cause you to lift incorrectly. Wear loose fitting clothing that can give you a full range of motion.
Ask for help
Especially when you’re a beginner, don’t try lifting heavy weights by yourself. Work with a personal trainer or join a local lifting group. Others with experience can give you feedback on your form as well as help you if something goes wrong.
Make sure weights are secure
A major concern with weight lifting is a problem with the weights falling off the bars. It is easy to miss how secure the discs are when you’re just starting out. Learn how to use the equipment and always double check.
Always warm up
Not stretching before lifting can result in pulled muscles or more serious injuries. Spend just a few minutes before you begin lifting to stretch your legs, arms, and back.
Perfect form before lifting heavier weights
When you’re just getting started it may benefit you to start without any weights just to understand the proper techniques. Use a broom handle or a small hand held tool to mimic the basic shape of larger and smaller weights.
Use a safe lifting speed
Professional weightlifters understand how slowly or quickly to move at any part of the routine. If you create momentum you risk serious injury. An object in motion tends to stay in motion and this includes weights.
Practice situational awareness
When you are weight training at the gym or in public always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t lift too close to someone else and be careful when changing weights or moving around a machine. You don’t want to bring harm to someone else.
Stop if you feel dizzy
Always pay attention to your body’s clues. If you start to feel weak or feint, don’t keep going. Take frequent rests and drink plenty of water.
Don’t train in hot spaces
The air temperature will absolutely affect you. If you usually work out in your own home or garage, make sure you do so in the mornings or evenings before the temperature gets too hot.
Practice caution when alone
If you are alone be hyper aware of your surroundings and your equipment. Don’t push yourself too hard if you’re not in a place to receive help from someone else.
Are you interested in starting a weight lifting program in your fitness routine?
Image by Len Smith via Flickr