Proper form: Live to lift another day

Posted on January 22, 2010. Filed under: athletic training, body weight, caloric intake, calories, circuit training, exercise, fat loss, fitness, health, lifting, overtraining, Personal training, weight lifting, weight loss, weight training, workout |

Correct form is incredibly important when it comes to weight training. Incorrect form can lead to very serious injuries. It can cause muscle imbalances, strained muscles and joints, severe soreness, etc. if you are trying a new exercise you have never performed before it’s best to use a lower weight while making sure you can perform the movement correctly, then judge how much more weight you can handle. If you can do about 15 reps then it would be recommended to go up in weight. Don’t worry ladies – you won’t “bulk up,” our bodies aren’t made for that. You should be able to perform about 8 reps to complete a set. If your form is compromised doing those 8 – 15 reps then you need to lower your weight. Perform each rep in a smooth, balanced movement, while keeping your back straight. You should not have to jerk the weights up and lower slowly and smoothly as well, do not just drop the weight towards the ground.

For example, if you are on the leg extension machine working your quads, bring the leg(s) up smoothly and let the weight push your leg(s) back down smoothly. Don’t just drop the weight down. If you cannot perform the exercise with your back fully against the back of the chair, including your lower back, remove some of the weight. Do this for 10 – 12 reps and if you can complete them without compromising your form, move up 5 pounds.
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Another example is stiff dead lifts. Hold the bar overhand. If you are doing stiff dead lifts keep your legs completely straight, knees locked. Use you glutes, hamstrings and lower back to pull that bar up so you are standing straight. Keep your back totally straight. If you lift too much weight it is going to strain your lower back, keeping you out of the gym for days or weeks.
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It’s okay to not be able to lift as much as weight as others around you, your friends, or what you could once lift. You will build up if you keep at it. The most important thing is to prevent injury so you can live to lift another day. Two rules of thumb for proper lifting, whether it’s a squat, dead lift, lunge, etc never let that knee go over the ankle – keep them in line. And always keep your lower back straight – do not round you back or shoulders.

Kyra Williams
The Get In Shape Girl

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One Response to “Proper form: Live to lift another day”

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I like your articles! I tend to forget about form at times: hamstring curls and back not all the way flat… you know the drill 😉

– Kloé


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