Strength training is an important part of your overall fitness program, whether you want to lose weight or improve your health. In fact, studies have shown that people who have incorporated strength training into their weight loss plan are more likely to keep off the unwanted pounds.
When you decide to incorporate strength training into your workout routine, it’s important to perform the exercises correctly. Here are some common mistakes people often make while strength training and how you can avoid them.
Skipping the Warmup
Going right into an intense weight training session without a proper warm-up can increase your risk of injury. Prepare your muscles for your workout with a few minutes of cardiovascular exercise, such as a brisk walk on the treadmill or elliptical machine.
Speeding Through the Routine
It’s tempting to lift quickly, since momentum is doing the bulk of the work. To get the most out of your lifting session, use slow and controlled movements when lifting the weight. Be sure to rest between sets, as this allows you to replenish your muscle energy stores.
Overdoing the Sit-Ups
Many new exercisers fall into the trap of completing hundreds of sit-ups, hoping they’ll achieve six-pack abs. Unfortunately, excessive sit-ups and crunches can cause serious back pain or injury. Instead, try spine-stabilizing core exercises, which include side planks and modified curl-ups.
Not Completing a Range of Motion
If you’re attempting to lift too-heavy weights, you will reduce your range of motion. To gain strength, decrease the weight until you can complete the range of motion for one set of eight repetitions. Lifting the proper amount of weight is key to achieving proper form.
Following an Unbalanced Program
Focusing on certain muscle groups and ignoring others can increase your risk of injury while strength training. For instance, hamstrings must be strong when engaging in leg press and squat movements. Well-conditioned abs can stabilize your spine while engaging your lower back muscles. A balanced program can help you improve your overall body composition.
Not Sticking to the Program
Weight training offers a host of benefits, including increased bone density and lower blood pressure. You’ll also burn more calories while at rest. In fact, studies have shown that strength training may be a better path to fitness than cardio alone. But to receive these benefits, you must find a program that incorporates all your muscle groups through a variety of exercises. Working with a personal trainer can be a great way to learn how to properly perform each exercise.
Most of all, don’t give up! With a well-balanced program, you will notice a difference and how you look and feel. When you start a weight lifting regimen, you will be able to increase your health and well-being.