A Answers (21)
Watch my video for strength training tips!
Joey Greany, MS,NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answeredHave a certified personal trainer at your training center give you proper instruction on exercises. Remember to move weight through a full range of motion. There are also a number of books and fitness websites which are devoted to delivering proper instructions.
Edward Phillips, Physical Therapy, answeredHere are five strength training tips:
1. Use light weight or resistance only. Strength is built by working a muscle against resistance. (Exercise programs that do this are called strength training, resistance training, or weight training programs.) The resistance can be supplied by a hand weight like a dumbbell; elastic resistance bands or tubing; a weight machine; or your own body weight, as push-ups neatly illustrate. When an exercise calls for hand weights, start with no more than 1 to 3 pounds. When using resistance bands and tubing, select light to medium resistance.
2. Focus on form. Good form means aligning your body as described in exercise instructions and moving smoothly through an exercise. Holding your body in a specific position while consciously contracting and releasing certain muscles allows you to isolate a muscle group. Poor form can slow gains and trigger injuries.
3. Tempo, tempo. Work evenly at the tempo specified in each exercise. Control is very important. Counting off the tempo aloud or silently helps you stay in control, which enhances gains and helps you avoid injuries. It also ensures that you're breathing, rather than holding your breath.
4. Breathe. Blood pressure rises if you hold your breath during resistance exercises. Exhale as you work against gravity by lifting, pushing, or pulling; inhale as you release. During warm-ups and stretches, breathe comfortably.
5. Give muscles time off. Strength training causes tiny tears in muscle tissue. Muscles grow stronger as the tears knit up. Allow at least 48 hours between strength training sessions on a particular group of muscles to allow them to recover.
JC Pinzon , Fitness, answered
Strength training is safer if done with slow controlled movements and good form. Do not sacrifice your mechanics and posture when strengthening your muscles. Heavy is not always good if you cannot control the weight, especially on the lowering of the weight against gravity. Lift a weight for about 15 repetitions for three sets before progressing to something heavier. Make sure you rest and stretch enough in between sessions so your muscles can recover. Using multiplanar movements is also a good idea to keep muscular balance overall.
Darin Cabell , NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
As you look at answers to this question on Sharecare, it is obvious that safely performing strength training exercises involves numerous factors (including goals, current health, and exercise history). Regardless of your end goal for strength training, it is extremely valuable and kind to yourself to perform an Overhead Squat Assessment. This tool reveals muscle imbalances (which are revealed during movement) that, if left unaddressed, will become hindrances to safely progressing toward your goals of improving strength.
For a beginner, even without an assessment, here are few things to get your strength training underway safely:
- Perform movements in multiple planes of motion with appropriate resistance for your fitness level. Form and proper body alignment are "really really ridiculously" important. In the early stabilization phases of training a general rule of thumb is being able to perform a movement for 12-20 reps per set (typically 1-3 sets) without compromising form. The resistance should be controllable. If this were a card game, always remember that form trumps weight (even when you have advanced beyond the beginner stage).
(If you do not know what the proper form for an exercise is, this is where it is a great idea to find a knowledgeable trainer or refrain from this exercise for the time being).
- Consider utilizing resistance bands or bodyweight exercises that allow for freedom of movement around multiple joints and can be modified to meet your present fitness level.
- Perform exercises that emphasize stabilization of the spine, use multiple joints (rather than isolate), and incorporate other fitness components, such as balance. There is more to challenging your body's strength than just lifting heavier.
While this list isn't exhaustive, it can be part of your fitness toolkit.
Anka Ivanisevic , NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
To perform exercises safely whether you are using weights, bands, or even your own body, it is important to use proper form. In order to challenge the correct muscles (which will have you making gains more quickly), proper form will prevent injuries to joints, connective tissues, and muscles.
I recommend the use of a personal trainer until you get used to the movements.
DeWayne A. Smith, NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
To perform strength training exercises safely, make sure you’re using proper equipment, select a reasonable resistance, and utilize a spotter if you feel you will need help completing your desired repetitions. Most of all, make sure you keep proper form. If you can't perform the exercise properly, there is a likelihood you'll injure yourself.
Donovan Green - Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
Strength training can be very effective and also very dangerous if you do not use proper form. Some very basic rules in avoiding injury during strength training is to avoid jerking your body (this will keep your back protected from injuries), keep your abs tight (this will ensure a firm and strong posture for your lower back), breath out on the exertion of the exercise (this will help to regulate your blood pressure), lift weights that are manageable (this will help to keep your form perfect), avoid over training (this will allow your body to heal and recover from the constant tearing of your muscles), keep your knees slightly bent when performing standing exercises (this will ease the pressure from your joints and redirect it to the actual muscle), and always use a spot whenever you decide to go heavy (this will help you to feel more confident with your lift and help to avoid possible injury or even death). Remember train safe and think smart.
National Academy of Sports Medicine answeredGood form! That is your number one anchor. You should be able to maintain good posture and joint alignment during strength training exercises. People run into trouble when they start to arch or round their low back or slump their shoulders forward.
The goal of strength training is not to lift a heavier weight just for the sake of doing so. The goals are to yes, increase strength, but there are many other benefits such as;
*improving bone density
*increasing metabolic rate and more
*ability to perform daily activities with greater ease
*a healthier cardiovascular system
Low back pain will effect 80% of US residents, 21% will experience shoulder pain and there are well over 1 million ankle sprains per year. Strength training can help to prevent and recover from these injuries. If you practice poor form during strength training then you could increase your likely hood of having a musculoskeletal injury.
So have great posture, use good form, start slow, stay consistent and be strong
barre3 answeredCorrect form helps maximize the benefits of strength training, and avoids injury. Try a group fitness class, or home workout, that emphasizes proper form and alignment to help you learn where to work in your body. At barre3 we focus on form and alignment before every movement, for this very reason.
The most important thing to do when is comes to strength training is to perform your exercises correctly! It is essential that you learn how to perform exercises with correct technique. Doing so will ensure that you are using the right muscles in the right way. Performing exercises incorrectly (and I see this daily, more than I would like to admit) will lead to muscle imbalances and eventual injury.
Other guidelines for strength training safety include:
- Select exercises that target all major muscle groups (chest, shoulders, back, arms, legs, glutes, hips, calves, and core).
- Prior to your strength training workout always perform a light to moderate intensity warm up for at least 5-7 minutes.
- Exercise large muscle groups first. Do not start your strength training workout with bicep curls. Instead start with an exercise such as bench press which focuses on a larger muscle group.
- Remember to breathe and avoid holding your breathe (a bad habit I have!). Exhale through the concentric (lifting or pushing the weight) phase of the exercise and inhale during the eccentric phase (returning the weight). For example, when performing a bicep curl, exhale as you bend your elbows and lift the weight toward your shoulders, and inhale as you lower the weight back to the start position.
- Allow adequate recovery time between workouts. Never perform a workout targeting the same muscle group (this includes the abdominals) on consecutive days. Always leave at least 24 hours between strength training workouts using the same muscle groups. Rest and recovery is important! You do not want to overtrain yourself.
- Pain is not good. If you experience pain or unusual discomfort during an exercise, limit the range of motion of the exercise. If you still experience pain, then stop the exercise. I would recommend you go see your physician if the pain continues.
- Always end your workout with a cool down and some gentle stretches. The foam roller is a great tool (and one of my favorites) to use as part of your cool down.
Bennett Adams , NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
A great question! Strength training is a process. When starting out, ensure you understand the step-by-step dynamic of the exercise(s), ensure to use proper form, start with light weight, and ask a knowledgeable trainer questions.
It is important to understand the dynamic of movement. Everything is connected! Your body is a single kinetic chain and no muscle works or counters force alone. Understanding the body as a kinetic chain while applying the above principles, you are ready to move forward with strength training. Now, is the time to state another principle - you know your body so listen to it! Mahalo.
Hathaway McCaffrey , NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
Proper form is essential in successful performing all exercises. It is important to be conscience of your body position during all aspects of an exercise. When performing new exercises doing them in front of a mirror is an excellent way to insure proper position and alignment. You want to be aware of not overly leaning and/or arching. If you attempt to life weight that is too heavy this can lead to bad form. The more you perform an exercise the easier it becomes to perform it correctly, completely aware of where you are and should be all stages of them move.
A. Evan Raoof - NASM Elite Trainer, NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
It is important to understand the that it is important to have or create postural stability when performing strength training exercises. When designing a strength training program. It is important to take into account your ability, muscular imbalances and goals. With this understanding you will achieve results faster and be injury free.
Something to keep in mind when you are performing strength training exercises.
Warm up - before you start lifting weights. This helps get your muscles warm and prevent injury. You can warm up with light cardio or by doing a light set of each exercise before going to heavier weights.
Control the Weight - The key is to lift the right amount of weight. 20-25 reps at a light weight will help you build endurance and "Train your brain to perform the exercise correctly. Understand the muscle you are working doing the work -The supporting cast is the stabilizing muscles. If the weight is to heavy you are going to swing and use other muscles than the one want to strengthen. If the weight is to light momentum will help you and that’s not good either.
Breathe and use Full Range of motion -Make sure to Breathe.
Stand up Straight - Pay attention to posture, and engage your abs. This will help you protect your spine. This also helps you realize when you can up the weight.
You see if your goal is to do 15-20;12-15; or 8-12 repetitions than the proper overload or resistance will dictate your posture during the exercise Once learned.
You do need to take into consideration overload, progression as it relates to your goal. Rest is important and is dictated by the goal, the amount of reps, weight and ability
Jay Morgan, NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
Years ago Tom Purvis founder of Resistance Training Specialist said to me that strength training can be the best exercise for the body or the worst. His thought process was an understanding of the biomechanics of the strength movement was essential to success, and then how to incorporate this to a specific individual. It is important to understand one strength training movement is not for everyone. The individual's thresholds must be identified first:
- joint restrictions
- tissue restrictions
- strength profiles (endurance-speed-relative-max strength)
If an individual is not addressing the above thresholds, placing additional load (weight) on the body can lead to chronic or acute injury, and eventually limiting their ability to exercise.
Once the thresholds are identified, the strength movement must relate to the individual's daily tasks and goals/needs.
The best tool an individual can invest in to understand their thresholds and how it relates to their tasks and goals is a skilled fitness professional. A fitness professional can optimize the effectiveness of the strength training and minimize a chance for injury, by progressing or regressing the program based on you.
Lisa Lynn, Fitness, answered
Hire a trainer! No seriously it is well worth the money you will spend to get a training session and learn safety in the gym. It’s the best way to NOT get hurt. If you can’t afford a trainer get your hands on some great books. Go to a library where you can take out as many as you need to answer your questions. Be sure to take notes and bring the notebook to the gym so you don’t forget. It is always better to train smart so focus on form and the speed and strength will come automatically in time.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you go to the gym
- Never lift more than you can safely handle.
- Go slow and always stay in control.
- Never let your knee go over your toe EVER.
- If it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t!
- Focus on what you’re doing not the people around you or events.
Need specific advice? Please feel free to email me.
Cecilia Alston - NASM Elite Trainer, NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
To perform strength training exercises safely, the first thing you need to know is how to do the exercise in the first place. Do not attempt to do an exercise that has not been shown to you by a trained professional. Do not attempt to force your body to do an exercise it is not strong enough to do.
To do an exercise properly you need to know the proper form and technique of that exercise and what that exercise was designed to do; what muscle groups it is supposed to work. Always know what the alternative option to an exercise is as well as the "easy" version of the exercise.
Amy Colgan-Niemeyer, NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
Learn proper form and be sure you have enough room to perform the exercise, all around you, including over-head. Bumping your hands or legs on other equipment or smacking a fellow exerciser in the head with a dumbbell are two of the many possible injuries you want to avoid while working out. Be cautious, train smart and be courteous to others around you.
Matthew Toth , NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
Eric Beard and Kristy Wilson gave a great example answer on how to perform strength training exercises safely and I agree but I would take it one step further, proper exercise selection. Before you can begin exercising you must choose what you are going to do for that day. If you choose an exercise that you are not ready to perform then you put yourself at a greater risk of injury. An example of this would be performing a back squat with weight when you are unable to perform a single leg squat without proper form. This maybe an extreme example but this happens on a daily basis in gyms around America. NASM’s OPT model examines this issue scientifically. A foundation is built before progressing to the next level aiding in preventing injury as you are performing strength exercises.
Keys to performing strength training exercises safely1.Get a proper assessment from a NASM-CPT certified HFPN coach
2.Proper exercise selection
3.Complete a proper warm-up
4.Perform each exercise with proper form
5.Drink plenty of water
Pamela Fortner, NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answeredThe three keys to performing strength training safely are performing the exercisies properly, exercise selection and choice of weight to be lifted.
Performing exercises incorrectly will lead to muscle imbalances and possible injury. Keep your back straight (no arching of lower back), head neutral (no protruding forward), shoulders level (not elevated), feet straight forward, knees in line over toes (feet not pointed out at angles, knees should not cave in or bow out).
Start with basic level exercises like chest press, shoulder press.
Start with a weight you can handle, if it feels to heavy, it probably is. Strength training is not a competition, take pride and vanity out of the equation. It is better to choose a lighter weight and perform the exercises properly and progress slowly than try to lift to much perform the exercse incorrectly and cause an injury.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
Performing strength training exercises safely is all about keeping the spine and joints stable and aligned. This involves being able to maintain certain joint positions at the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and head throughout a movement. Together with keeping your core (the group of muscles that surround and stabilize the spine) tight will insure the right muscles are working and your spine and joints are safe.
Here’s what to look for:
Ankles: feet should point straight ahead and keep the arch of the foot from collapsing inward
Knees: should line up over the middle of the foot and travel along that path if they are moving during an exercise
Hips: should be neutral, find neutral by arching your low back all the way then rounding your low back all the way and splitting that difference
Shoulders: should be back and down
Head: chin should be tucked back, preventing the head from jutting forward during a movement
Core: pull in the navel as if you are trying to touch the spine with it, this should be able to be done while still being able to breathe and the shoulders kept relaxed
If you are unable to maintain these checkpoints, lighten the load or change the exercise so that it can be performed correctly. This will reduce the risk of wear and tear injuries over time.Helpful? 2 people found this helpful.