Weight Lifting Techniques, Terms, and Safety Tips
- Breathe.† Donít hold your breath.† Your blood pressure can increase during
weightlifting to dangerous levels if you hold your breath.† Exhaling during the lift and just plain
breathing freely during your weight-training exercise can prevent this.
- Seek balance.† Work all your major muscles-abdominals,
legs, chest, back , shoulders, and arms.† Strengthen the opposing muscles in a
balanced way-front of the shoulder as well as back of the shoulder, for
- Lift an appropriate amount of weight.† The amount of weight you lift should
make your muscles feel tired after 10 to 15 repetitions.
- Donít rush.† Donít jerk the weight up.† Lift and lower the weight in a slow,
controlled fashion.† This helps you
improve body stabilization, isolates the muscles you want to work
effectively, and doesnít let you cheat by relying on momentum to lift the
- Rest.† Give your body a day to recover between
workouts of the same muscle group.
- Be consistent.† Three workouts a week will build muscles
and just two will maintain the strength youíve gained.
- Store your weights properly.† Watch the way you lift weights out of
the rack.† Keep your spine stable
and lift with your whole body.
- Get a firm footing.† Keep your feet apart(shoulder
width) for a stable base and good balance; point toes out.
- Bend at your knees and hips.† Donít bend at the waist.† Keep the principles of leverage in
mind.† Donít do more work than you
have to.† Maintain your three
natural back curves.
- Tighten stomach muscles.† Abdominal muscles support your spine
when you lift, off setting the force of the load and protect your
back.† Train muscle groups to work
- Lift with your legs.† Let your powerful leg muscles do the
work of lifting, not your weaker back muscles.† Maintain your three natural curves.
- Keep load close.† Donít hold the load away from your
body.† The closer it is to our
spine, the less force it exerts on your back.
- Keep your back upright.† Whether you are lifting or putting down
the load, donít add the weight of your body to the load.† Your nose and your toes should be facing
up when lifting.
- Turn with your feet.† Avoid twisting; it can cause injury.
- Exercise through the full range of
motion.† Perform each exercise
through a full range of motion, with emphasis on the end of the positive
phase.† Training in the full range
of motion enhances both muscle strength and joint flexibility.
- Exercise.† The actual strength training lift or
movement being performed.† For
example, the Bench Press used to work the chest, is an exercise.
- Repetitions or Reps.† One full movement of the exercise from
start to mid-point and back to start again.
- Set.† This refers to a complete number of
reps.† For example, doing the bench
press 10 consecutive times would complete one set.† Usually one to four sets make up each
- Rest.† The pause between sets(usually
45-90 seconds) allows the muscles to regain enough strength to complete
the next set effectively and with good form.† Rest separates each set from the others.
- ďPositiveĒ or concentric phase.† This is the lifting phase that requires
work or exertion by either pushing or pulling.† When this happens your muscles
contract.† When doing the Biceps
Curl, for example, the concentric phase (positive) is when you lift the weight
up towards your chest.
- ďNegativeĒ or eccentric phase.† This is the resistance phase whereby you
slowly allow the weight to return to its original position.† When this happens, your muscles
lengthen.† For example, in the
Biceps Curl, the eccentric phase(negative) is
when you slowly lower the weight back down until your arms are extended
straight.† During this phase you
should always move more slowly than on the positive phase.
- Concentration.† To get the best results possible, it is
important to concentrate on exactly what you are trying to achieve while
you are lifting.
- Cardiovascular Exercise.† It is important to train all your
muscles.† But many weightlifters
miss the one muscle that is perhaps the most important to the body: the
heart.† It is very important that
your heart and lungs are trained so they can help you fight the many
health problems associated with heart disease.† And then the bonus: you will rev your
metabolism and burn fat in the process.†
Weightlifting may get your heart beating faster and make your
breathing heavy, but it does not get your heart rate up to the consistent
higher training level that is so important for keeping your cardiovascular
system healthy.† You should do some
form of cardiovascular exercise at least three times a week for at least
20 minutes per session, at intensities of 55-85 percent of your maximum