Biggest Mistakes with a Weight-Lifting Workout
Whether you’re a man or woman, seasoned fitness buff or newbie, you may all share something in common: weight-lifting workout mistakes. We combined our own experience with tips from Muscle and Fitness and Women’s Health magazines to showcase the top three mistakes in the weight room.
You’re using the wrong weight.
If you can do more than eight reps with your chosen weights, your weight choice is probably too light. If you can’t even complete six reps, it’s likely the weights are too heavy. For optimum results that help burn body fat and build lean muscle, weights should allow you to do six to eight reps, tops. Make sure you’re doing those reps in proper form, as quality trumps quantity and incorrect form can lead to injury.
You’re ignoring your core.
Your core muscles are integral to your weight workout, and forgetting to engage them can result in injury. Pay attention to your core muscles by engaging them during your weight-lifting routine and giving them a mini-workout after. A strong, stable core helps support all your body’s movements.
Spot-check your technique while lifting weights. If you find your ribs are sticking out, you probably need to brace your core. Women’s Health magazine says to focus on bringing your ribs together as if someone was ready to punch you in the gut. Muscle and Fitness mag says to finish off your weight workout with a few core-enhancing moves, such as planks and side-planks. Start with 20-second holds, working your way up to 60 seconds.
You’re ignoring other muscles that matter.
Biceps, shoulders and other muscles that look cool when you flex them in the mirror may be getting plenty of workout attention. But less obvious muscles that help balance your body, like those in your lower body or back, may not. Don’t just focus on the muscles that look good in a tank top.
Go for a full upper-body workout as well as a full lower-body workout that strengthens your body’s full lineup of muscles. Alternate upper and lower body days, or go for a full-body workout twice to three times per week.
One more quick tip is to consider incorporating machine work and free weights into your routine. Each has their own benefits, and using both gives you the best of both worlds.