Dr. Susan Knight-Nanni
Weight Lifting Isn’t Just for Athletes
When you hear the word weight lifter, your mind may flash to the bulky bodybuilder at the gym with bulging muscles and a tight tank top. Many people do not realize that strength training can be very beneficial to your health at any age. Whether you are a hardcore fitness enthusiast or just an average person who just wants to be healthy, lifting weights can help you reach your goals. Strength training isn’t just for seasoned athletes.
There are some precautions you need to take to protect your spine and body when you begin to lift weights. Do your homework and make sure to use proper form in order to get the best results possible without injuring your body.
It will be beneficial to see your chiropractor for regular adjustments as you strengthen and tone your muscles. They can help you locate and correct the issues you may have before they cause you physical problems later. Chiropractic care can also keep you in alignment to reduce your risk of injury.
We’ve compiled a guide on how to use the right weight lifting techniques when you work out.
Defining the Right Weight Lifting Techniques
Use Your Core
It’s important to protect your back as you lift by activating your core muscles. Strengthening the abdominal muscles and back muscles are key. This helps to improve your posture and prevents you from using the wrong muscle groups to lift. If you use an incorrect technique, you may put yourself at risk for injury.
It’s also important to remember to keep your spine straight. Don’t arch your back while lifting. While it may feel more comfortable, it can lead to some serious damage to the nerves in your back. Never twist your back when you’re lifting, as it puts more strain on your muscles and tendons.
Use the Right Weights
When it comes to strength training, you need to have a good understanding of your current physical condition. Start off slow and work your way up to your maximum limit. Most back injuries during weight lifting are a result of people choosing the wrong amount of weight for their workouts. One rule to remember with weight lifting is, less is more. Heavier weights won’t guarantee more results, but may increase your risk of injury. Use lighter weights and do more repetitions to tone. Also, use slow controlled movements as you are lifting, and never “swing” the weights.
Defining Training Goals
"You need a foundation of strength in order to exhibit, absorb and transfer force," said Tony Gentilcore, a strength coach in Boston who works with a variety of athletes and has trained many members of the Boston Red Sox.
With that, it’s important to tailor the regimen of your workout to your strengths and weaknesses. It's important to do a full assessment to determine what kind of regimen is going to give you the most benefit by defining your end goals. You need a plan to get you there, little by little.
Benefits of Strength Training
The greatest benefit of strength training is that it increases the density and capacity of the connective tissues and can prevent injury.
Not only does strength training increase your physical work capacity, but it also improves your ability to perform daily activities. You will eventually be able to work harder and longer with the proper weight training activities.
Here are some of the benefits:
Improved bone density
One of the best ways you can control bone loss as you age is to add strength training into your workout plan.
Promotes Healthier Body Mass
Increasing muscle is a great way to decrease body fat, and can give you a healthier Body Mass Index. Muscle weighs more than fat, so be patient with the numbers on the scale as you transform your body.
Increases the strength of connective tissue, muscles, and tendons.
With proper care, this improves motor performance and decreases injury risk.
How to Know What’s Right for You.
It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself so that you can keep achieving strength and endurance gains.
Want to speak with a professional chiropractic practitioner to see what weight lifting goals are right for you? Dr. Susan Knight can help, contact us today to learn more and to schedule an appointment.