Proper Form When Lifting
Stimulating muscle growth and strength requires training with 110% intensity every time you’re in the gym. Putting your muscles under as much a stress as possible to spark a muscle response can sometimes come with a cost, especially if you aren’t training carefully. Lifting heavily over time can stress your muscles, joints and connective tissues. If you don’t follow proper precaution and neglect using strict form, you could end up injuring yourself and landing a ticket to ‘snap city’ often quoted by my favorite fitness YouTubers the Hodgetwins.
If you’re training hard and looking to build up a muscular and strong physique in the shortest period of time, an injury is the last thing that you’d want. Nothing is worse than being set back a few months because you neglected to use proper form on an exercise. I know it’s intimidating sometimes when you see people lifting twice as much weight as you, but you have to remember that you’re in the gym to focus on yourself and not anybody else. There’s no need to lift 2 or 3 times heavier than you can manage just to show the guy looking at you that you mean business. There have been too many times where I’ve seen guys in the gym perform exercises with way more weight that they can handle. I know all of my readers are smarter than that and you all know that strict, proper form is the way to perform exercises.
Now every single exercise should be performed with strict form, but the most important exercises to take extra precaution in my opinion are squats, dead lifts and shoulder exercises. Before attempting these exercises if you’re a newbie, you should make sure that you have a good understanding of how these exercises are properly executed. Don’t be afraid to use a few training sessions to lift lighter weights and get the proper form down before actually putting on the big weights. It is very important to learn how to perform these exercises correctly because if you do the exercise with incorrect technique, lifting heavy for a period of time will surely take its toll on your body and leave can leave you sitting out rather than being in the gym.
Here are a few tips to make sure to watch for when performing these exercises.
Dead lifting: Ensure that your back is not rounded in any way and that your hips are above your knees at the starting position. This is not a quad movement, but more of a hip movement. You should also be keeping the weight on your heels and are pushing out from them.
Squats: Take note not to look at the ground. When performing squats you must be looking forward. Looking downward naturally curves the spine, which can make this exercise very dangerous especially if you’re using heavy weight. You should also be careful to not squat down too far when starting out on this exercise , especially if your flexibility is not great. I recommend warming up the legs before performing any squatting movements. This is one of the exercises that must be started out light if you do not want any lower body injuries.
Shoulder raises: Too often I’ve seen guys performing side lateral raises and shoulder raising movements with too much weight. You do not need to go overly heavy on this movement. Performing this exercise improperly can easily injure your rotator cuff. The shoulders are very sensitive and if you have to use momentum to swing up the weight, you are actually taking the tension away from the muscle itself.
So these are the 3 major exercises that you should take precautions on when performing them in the gym. These exercises are the most likely ones to cause you serious injuries if not performed carefully. But you should execute all exercises in the gym with proper form if you’re looking to stay injury free.