Whether you run, swim, bike, or simply exercise to stay in shape, strength training is a vital part of a well-rounded workout plan—that is, if you’re doing it right.
If you’re guilty of a few common strength training errors, not only will your fitness gains be limited, but you’ll also put your body at greater risk for injury. And you don’t want that.
Here’s the good news. There are many measures you can take right now to make your weight lifting experience as smooth and pain-free as possible.
Here are some of the most common weight lifting form mistakes out and exactly how to fix them for good.
1. Going Heavy Before The Proper Form
One of the most common mistakes is opting for super heavyweights with improper form. Expect pain, training inefficiency, and a higher risk for injury when you do so.
Put your ego on the side and start light then work your way up. Practice the basic movements with weights you can handle with good form.
The rule is, if you can’t perform solid ten reps with good form, you’re using too much resistance. Once that becomes easy, up the resistance.
Adopt a progressive training mindset.
Start your sessions with basic mobility exercises to warm up your joints. You could also hire a personal trainer to help you practice proper movement patterns. It might be a bit expensive but it’s worth it.
2. Improper Footwear
Although the super-cushioned running shoes help you minimize the high impact effects of hitting the pavement, they are not ideal for strength training since they do not allow for a natural movement pattern of the foot, ankle, and lower leg ligaments.
Do your strength workouts in minimalist shoes or even go barefoot. Doing so helps your lower to move in a more fluid and natural way.
3. Rescuing a Bad Repetition
Another common lifting error is not controlling the weight lifted, whether the exercise involves free weight or machines. Bad repetitions are a part of strength training, but that doesn’t mean you should try to rescue every one of them.
You cannot correct a movement while performing it, as doing so leads to bad form and training inefficiency.
Make sure your movements are not jerky; when lowering or pressing to the starting position, it should be fluid and controlled.
If the exercise you are doing does not feel right, stop, and put the weight down before you try fixing it. Take a deep breath, visualize the right way to doing it, then resume your training.
4. Not Maintaining a Neutral Spine
It does not take an exercise certification to realize that rounding your back while lifting seriously hurt your spine and performance. Arching or bending at the waist leads to lower back pain and can injure your entire spine and the musculature surrounding it.
Keep a keen eye on your body’s proper alignment in every movement you do. Imagine a straight line coming up from your hips to your head and keep that line straight throughout the movement.
Squeeze your core and glutes as hard as possible as push overhead—this will help you stabilize your lower body and push more weight overhead. That’s a good thing if you ask me.
5. Swinging The Kettlebell Too Fast
Swinging the kettlebell too fast and without control can result in a pulled muscle, shoulder dislocation, and other serious trouble.
A controlled execution in each motion—whether it’s the way up or the way down— target your stability muscles and boost your range of motion while dodging injury and training inefficiency.
Use your core muscle and shoulder to stabilize and control the upward and downward movement of the kettlebell—especially when it passes around your head.
6. Following The Same Routine
Do you know the fastest way to stop seeing results in the gym?
Start doing the same workouts over and over again. Doing this not only hurts your fitness gains but may also put your body at risk.
Constant load variation is a basic prerequisite for continued adaptation, therefore, growth.
Make sure to periodically switch up your workout routine. Do not fall into the habit of performing the same workouts day in day out. You got to step out of your comfort zone sometimes.
Choose different models, weights, and rep ranges. Switch up your exercise order too. And try to add new moves or variations regularly.
Your performance will be cut short if you opt for the same exercises and training loads for a prolonged period. Accommodation kills progress. Constant load variation is a basic prerequisite for continued adaptation, therefore, growth.