Five tips on how to start lifting weights safely
If you’re like most Americans right now, you are looking forward to getting into the gym. If you haven’t done a weightlifting program before, you may wonder how to start lifting weights safely. It’s an important thing to consider, especially if you are unfamiliar with using weights to stay fit and healthy. Here are some tips to help get you started.
1. Warm up your muscles
Before doing any sort of strength training, you need to get your muscles warmed up. You can accomplish this through stretching or using a foam roller to wake up your muscles. Another great option is 5-15 minutes of cardio to get your blood flowing. Now your muscles are ready for a workout.
2. Learn proper technique
You must lift weights properly to avoid injury. Most gyms have trainers available to help you with the correct form when weightlifting. If you do not have access to a trainer other great resources are online videos, Facebook groups or fitness apps. Don’t just wing it when trying something new. This is definitely not how to start lifting weights safely.
3. Choose the right weight
When you first start lifting, you’re better off having slightly too little weight rather than too much. Experiment when doing your workout and see what weight size feels comfortable. It should be somewhat difficult to complete the last few reps of your final set of lifts. Your arms or legs may shake with the effort, but you should not feel sharp pain.
4. Rest between workouts
When starting a new lifting routine, your body will need rest to recover from the strain on your body. Weightlifting causes tiny tears in your muscles. This is how the body grows new muscle mass, but you need 1-2 days between weightlifting sessions to let this process happen. How do you feel the day after your workout? Soreness is to be expected, but you should not be in pain. If you are, give yourself another day of rest.
5. Gradually increase your time lifting
If you are new to weightlifting, give your muscles a little time to adjust to this new routine. Start out with just two days per week for the first 1-2 weeks, then add in a third day. You don’t want to shock your muscles and get hurt. Ideally you will work your way up to 3-5 lifting sessions each week.
Follow these tips for how to start lifting weights safely and you should avoid an injury. If you find you over did it at the gym, visit the Express Care Clinic at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group. We can help with all of your acute orthopedic needs.