Lifting weights is a great way to stay in shape, burn fat and build muscle. Whether you lift weights in a gym or you have your own gym, the benefits of lifting are awesome.
But if you want to get the most out of your workouts, you don’t want to just pick up the weights and start throwing them around. There are proper techniques and tips you need to understand if you want to maximize all of your workouts. Here’s a simple guide to getting the most out of your weightlifting routine.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Before you do any time of intense exercise lift lifting weights, you want to make sure your body is prepared. Getting your body ready and letting it cool down afterward will decrease the chances of injury and make your workouts much more effective.
Take about 10 minutes to warm up before you start lifting. You can do light aerobic exercises like jogging, jumping jacks or jumping rope. Stretching is also a low-impact way to prepare your body for exercise. This will get your heart rate and your respiration up, both of which are important to maximizing your lifting.
After you finish your workout, your heart rate will be much higher than normal — as well as your respiration — so you want to give your body a chance to cool down back to normal. Take a few minutes to walk on a treadmill or cool down by jogging in place and slowing down your pace until your heart rate is back to normal.
Use Proper Lifting Techniques
Lifting heavy weights can cause injuries very easily if you are not careful, so you always need to make sure you are using proper lifting techniques.
Different exercises use different lifting techniques, so do a little research or work with a trainer before trying to lift weights on your own. As a general rule, you always want to keep your back straight to avoid straining it. If you find that you have trouble keeping your back straight, use a weightlifting belt for added support.
Lift weights slowly and deliberately as well. Don’t go too fast or you can tear a muscle or suffer some other injury.
Challenge Your Muscles
If you want to see results from lifting, you’re going to need to use different weights and different sets to challenge your muscles and force them to adapt.
Doing the same routine over and over again with the same weight may feel like it’s working, but your muscles quickly adapt and stop growing. Instead, vary your routine weekly — or daily — to really challenge your muscles. And as a general rule, use light weight for a lot of reps and higher weight for fewer reps to get the maximum effectiveness from your workout routine.
If you want to start lifting weights, remember these tips and techniques to get the most from your routines.