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3 tips for beginning weight lifters

May 17, 2011
Weights 1

Photo by Jessa9

In my last post about weightlifting helping weight loss, I mentioned I would share some tips for beginning weight lifters.

Here are 3 tips to get you going:

  • Isolate

If doing curls (working out your biceps) is hurting your back, you’re probably doing it wrong. Try to keep your back straight (while not doing back exercises) and if standing, with slightly bent knees. Calm the rest of your body and focus on that arm, shoulder, stomach, or butt muscle to do the exercise. If you find other parts of your body moving (your back moving while doing a bench press, your upper arms moving while you do tricep extensions, etc.) stop for a moment and make sure you’re only allowing movement in the muscles that are impacted by the exercise. If you’re using a weight machine, often there will be a diagram with highlighted muscles so you know where you should feel the burn.

  • Control

Weight lifting is not meant to like aerobics – bouncing all over and using momentum to keep moving. The more control you have over a movement, the more likely it’s working (and the more you’ll feel it). Sure you can pull up that barbell with a snap if you do it quick enough and use the momentum you’re releasing from the downward movement, but you’re probably using your back muscles to compensate for your arms. Your limbs shouldn’t be locking, either. If you’re finding an exercise too easy, or you suspect you’re going too fast, before adding more weight, try this: slow down. Force yourself to do the same exercise for two counts (up halfway at one count, up all the way at second count) instead of one motion. Force yourself to exert tension in both directions of an exercise so you feel your muscles working on the release, too.

  • Breathe

Try to breathe out during the most difficult part of the exercise. Releasing that pent-up breath will help you exert more and focus on the movement, and you can concentrate only on the exercise. And of course, the more oxygen your body has, the easier it can complete the task you’re giving it. Don’t hold your breath.

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