15 Weight-Lifting Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Workout

Avoid these weight lifting mistakes to get the most out of your workout.

You don’t warm up


It’s important to properly prime your body before you lift a single weight. “Warming up your body gets blood flowing to help lubricate your joints, which can help prevent you from tearing something,” says William Suggs, a certified personal trainer and licensed sports nutritionist in New York City. Limber up your shoulders, hips, elbows, and knees by walking on the treadmill at a brisk pace for 10 minutes; while you walk, actively move your arms. You can also rotate your arms backward like you’re doing the swimming backstroke. “This gives you ample rotation, you’ll get a good stretch of your chest, and it will really wake up your rotator cuffs,” he says. If you work out in the morning, try these energizing stretches to start your day.

You don’t ask for help


Improper technique can prevent you from getting the most out of that exercise move and even lead to injury. If you’ve never worked with weights before, your best bet is to ask for some help. “Schedule a tutorial with a fitness trainer at your gym who can teach you the proper moves,” says Suggs. “With this new phenomenon of everybody wanting to have a nice butt, a lot of exercises targeting that area such as squats and deadlifts are done wrong, which leads to a high risk of getting hurt.” If you’re planning to do heavy weight lifting, it’s a good idea to buy a cheap weight lifting belt that will support your core and lower back, he says.

You don’t mix up your workouts


Doing the same exercises day after day, week after week, and month after month can cause you to reach a fitness plateau or develop strength imbalances, according to the American Council on Exercise. Try new exercises that target the major muscle groups, or if you’ve always used weight machines, try adding free weights into your routine for a new challenge. Here are more tips you need to get over a weight-loss plateau.

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