4 Big Weight-Lifting Mistakes…and How to Fix Them!!

28 Mar
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Are you still one of those people who thinks that you need to do cardio to lose weight?  If you do, you’re only partially correct. Cardio should definitely be incorporated in to your workout routine but it should absolutely not be the only part of your workout! If you haven’t already heard it from me before, let me repeat myself…weight training is an absolute MUST in any workout program. Although I may disagree with other trainers on the amount of weight that you need to lift (I’m happy with using my own body weight as resistance most of the time), I definitely cannot disagree with the numerous amounts of studies that prove weight lifting contributes not only to weight loss but can also help lower blood pressure and improve bone density.

Mistake #1 – You’re Forgetting About Your Core

When you’re doing a bicep curl, for example, you’re probably focusing on your arms.  This is not a bad thing because focusing on the muscle you’re working actually makes it work harder, but you might be neglecting your center, and that’s not good.  If your core isn’t on your radar, you could end up injuring yourself because your back will have to compensate if you’re not maintaining a strong core.  In order to make sure you’re using the right technique, pay attention to your ribs: If they’re sticking out, your core is probably not engaged. To assume the right position, think about bringing your ribs together and bracing your core (as if someone were about to punch you in the stomach).  Now lift your weights.  This is true for any weight-bearing exercise, not just your bicep curls, so keep this in mind throughout your entire workout routine.

Mistake #2 – You’re Not Using Enough Weight

Us women tend to be really good at high reps with light weights, cause – for many of us – there is that fear of bulking up if we use weights that are too heavy.  But if you want to see true fat loss, you have to use heavier weights.  You’ll build lean muscle—the kind that helps burn body fat—faster, and save time in the long run. Go for a weight with which you can only get eight to ten reps at most without compromising your form.  Focus on your body:  Start light with good form and only add weight as you get stronger and can maintain form.  Do not EVER compromise form for heavier weight because you will be defeating the purpose and setting yourself up for injury.

Mistake #3 – You Don’t Have a Weight-Lifting Routine in Place

You probably know that if you repeat the same exercises with the same weights for the same number of reps every time you lift weights, your body will plateau.  But did you also know that if you never do the same program twice, you could also be slowing your results?  If you keep changing up your routine, you never get a chance to progress and master anything to really push your body beyond what it is used to.  You’ll be better off if you settle in with a three-day-per-week program over the course of about four to six weeks, and then—only once you’ve mastered it—move on to another.  Your body will begin to tell you when it’s ready for a change because what was too difficult to do in week #1 becomes something you can almost do with your eyes closed by week #6.

Mistake #4 – You’re Avoiding Free  Weights

Don’t let the fancy equipment at the gym fool you.  Actually, just avoid them all together.  I always tell my clients that the best workouts they can create to see results is by using their own body resistance as well as free weights.  The most effective equipment in the weight room is free weights.  Many women avoid the free-weight area of a gym because they are too intimidated.  They feel they don’t know what to do and/or are going to look silly so they just go and sit at a machine and follow the pictures with directions.  Trust me when I tell you that using free weights is much more effective than just sticking to the seated machines because you use your body in a more natural movement than being on a fixed machine, and it allows all of your stabilizer muscles to work—more muscles working means more calories are being burned.  Not sure where to begin?  Start by incorporating body resistance exercises to your routine and then begin to add free weights to them – for example:  start by doing squats…once you’re able to master 3 sets of 10-15 reps of squats in proper form, then add 5-8 pound dumbbells and try them with the dumbbells in hand.  Once this begins to feel easy, you can use the 5-8 pound dumbbells overhead instead of by your side or move on to 10-pound weights to increase the intensity.

Source:  Women’s Health

Just like everything else in life, your workouts should be balanced.  If you love to run then run, if you love yoga do yoga, if you love spinning then ride, but with each of these activities, be sure to incorporate a weight-training routine to ensure you are creating a body that is strong and lean and maybe flexible (if you’ve incorporated yoga in to your routine).  A more balanced body is one that has a decreased risk of injury and better chance at long-term consistent health.

If you need to work with a trainer to help get you on a program, you know how to contact me ;)!

Until next time,

Have a fit and fabulous day!

Lisa

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