Came across a great article from Men’s Health on safe weight lifting: http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/lift-safe-way?fullpage=true
One thing many people don’t realize is just how easy it is to sustain an injury while weight lifting. Many factors play into it: lifting too quickly, incorrect form, or in some cases, exercises or machines that are just unsafe (seated pulldown behind the neck, I’m looking at you).
In addition to the suggested alternate exercises in the Men’s Health article, a few tips I would suggest:
- Don’t try to be superhuman – lift what your body wants you to lift. 5 lb. weights does not make you weak if that’s what it takes to maintain proper form. Always choose good form over heavy weight!
- Ask for help. If you are unsure about an exercise, don’t be afraid to ask a trainer, or the super-fit person next to you. People are willing to offer suggestions, offer a spot, or watch you perform an exercise – all you have to do is ask.
- If you are worried about your speed, you’re probably going too fast. As far as weight lifting is concerned, it should usually take you a few seconds to perform a rep correctly. If you are moving at the speed of light, one of two things is probably happening: you are lifting too light, or your form is all wrong. Take your time!
Keep these tips in mind next time you hit the weight room – you’re more likely to stick with it if you can keep yourself injury-free!