Whether you are a casual weightlifter or one who gets into it at the competitive level, there are plenty of rewards to be reaped from weight lifting. The list of benefits is nearly endless. Weight lifting can reduce body fat, lower your risk of diabetes, improve joint movement, aid in fighting osteoporosis, increase heart health, reduce the risk of back pain, improve balance, increase your mental capacity, and reduce depression symptoms just to name a few. However, with all its benefits, weight lifting does have one potential drawback—injury particularly to your joints.
There’s one major reason why you should take care of your joints when weight lifting. The long-term effects of weight lifting on your joints can be life-changing and not in a good way. Weight lifting must be done properly with the correct methods. Here are a few do’s and don’ts of weight lifting to prevent yourself from having a lifetime of lingering pain and potentially limiting injuries.
Whether you are getting ready to rep some serious lifts or hitting the treadmill, your first step should be a good stretch session. Stretching helps your range of motion, particularly around your joints. This also reduces the risk of swelling and muscle breakdown during extended periods of exercise.
Curb your diet:
If you are on a steady workout schedule, don’t sacrifice your gains by eating everything in sight. By eating the right foods as part of a healthy diet, you can reduce the risk of inflammation and joint injury.
Work on posture:
Method is everything. Poor posture results in tightened muscles and back pain. This is a result of the discs in your back receiving less blood flow. Open up that blood flow by using an upright posture.
Don’t overdo it:
If you’re tired, call it quits. Walk away, and come back another day. Fatigue is your body’s way of telling you it’s done. Don’t push through that fatigue and risk causing an overload injury.
Don’t ignore your footwear:
Just like running, you need the proper footwear to successfully lift. Purchase shoes that protect your feet from injury and provide good traction.
Don’t ignore your body:
If lifting causes your body any pain, stop immediately. The popular “no pain, no gain” slogan does have merit; but if you fail to address pain early on, you could be dealing with debilitating injuries in the future.
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