No matter what your motivation, there is no wrong reason to get into shape. Whether it’s to look great in a bikini or to improve your overall health, the important thing is that you’re taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle. But if you’re new to weight training, there are some easy mistakes people often make that can lead to injury and prevent you from achieving your exercise goals. Avoid these common weight-training mistakes to ensure your session runs smoothly:
Mistake #1: Not Learning Proper Technique
No one will tell you not to be enthusiastic about getting into shape, but there is a right way and wrong way to lift weights. It’s one thing to walk into the gym proud as a peacock and start swinging around a kettlebell, and quite another to perform real muscle strengthening exercises. If you’re using weights wrong, you’ll find out the hard way. Bad form or technique can put an unnecessary strain on your back, knees, and other sensitive areas, leading to painful injury. Speak to your physiotherapist about learning proper weight-training techniques to prevent pain and ensure maximum benefit. Nothing is more frustrating than having to take a break from your fitness goals to tend to a preventable injury.
Mistake #2: Showing Off with too Much Weight
They put mirrors in the gym for a reason, and it’s not to make it easier to stare at your bulging biceps. If your main priority for going to the gym is to show off how much weight you can lift, then chances are you’re not paying attention to your form or listening to your body for signs of stress. Picking up weights that are too heavy can tear or strain your muscles, which will require complete rest should this occur, and slow down your fitness goals as a result.
The person next to you may be able to lift heavier weights, but everyone is different. Comparing yourself to other people who may have been training longer than you is an easy way to lose sight of your fitness goals and to get hurt. Pick a weight that doesn’t make you sacrifice proper form and that doesn’t cause pain. If you’re not sure, speak to a trainer on site.
Mistake #3: Not Giving Yourself a Break
When we’re excited about getting into shape, we tend to ride off a total health and fitness high. Staying motivated is half the battle, but if you try to do too much too fast, you may end up hurting yourself in the long run. It’s one thing to swap out everything in your fridge for lean proteins, green vegetables, and healthy oils—nobody gets injured from suddenly eating wholesome food. But if you don’t give your body the break it needs to recover from exercise, you’re going to end up with a painful injury. When you’re starting a workout regimen, remember that rest days are just as important as workout days. Resting gives your body the time it needs to repair itself, which is how your muscle strength improves. Don’t feel like giving up a workout completely? Instead of weight training, enjoy a few relaxing laps in the pool or a low-intensity yoga workout.
Nobody will ever tell you that working out is a bad idea. However, working out the wrong way can be just as bad for your body than not working out at all. To avoid these common rookie weight-training mistakes that lead to sports injury, consult a sports injury physiotherapist at Pro Care Physiotherapy in Ottawa.