Weight lifting isn’t just good for our appearance, it’s also great for our health. As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass. With this loss comes a decrease in strength and a slower metabolism. The good news is that there’s an easy way to combat muscle loss! Integrate weight lifting into your routine to slow down aging!
When it comes to weight lifting, quality is better than quantity. Avoiding these four common weight lifting mistakes will assure that none of your workouts are in vain. In order to get visible results, you want a lifting routine that is challenging without putting you at risk for injury. As always, we prioritize using proper form. It’s always a good idea to be well informed and talk to a trainer about how to lift properly.
Keep reading to learn about these common lifting pitfalls and how to avoid them.
1. Using weights that are too light.
Many women avoid heavy weights because they are afraid of looking bulky. However, weight lifting rarely makes women bulky. Instead, it makes your muscles firmer, even helping you burn more fat in the process. To get visible results, lift weights that provide a challenge to your muscles. Try doing sets of 5-8 reps. You should be struggling to complete the last rep or two, but it shouldn’t be so difficult that you lose proper form. If you can complete all your reps easily, it’s time to move on to heavier weights.
If you need help building up strength, you can also add resistance to your home workouts using bands. For example, this routine gives you a full-body workout that prepares you for using dumbbells and barbells.
2. Using weights that are too heavy.
Conversely, you could be using weights that are too heavy. If you’re struggling to complete three reps, you should switch to lighter weights. Heavy weights can cause you to lose proper form, which can lead to serious injuries. Sure, heavy weights provide a good challenge, but a bad injury could set you back several months.
3. Only doing the moves you’re good at.
One very common lifting mistake is avoiding difficult moves. If you can do bicep curls with ease, but struggle with triceps, then you need to incorporate tricep moves in order to build strength evenly. Continuing to do bicep curls without properly training your triceps will cause uneven bulk and muscle strain. These asymmetries could even lead to injury as other muscles need to be overworked to compensate for weaker muscles.
To build all-over even muscle check out the exercises used in these upper body and lower body weight lifting plans for beginners.
4. Lifting after a long cardio session.
Cardio is great for you. It strengthens your heart and builds endurance. However, when it comes to toning up, you want to prioritize lifting rather than cardio. Ideally, you would have two to four days per week devoted to lifting, focusing on different muscle groups each day. However, if you have no option but to combine cardio and lifting, do the weights first. This ensures you tackle your workout while you still have plenty of energy.
To maximize weight loss, we suggest ending your weight lifting routine with a short-but-effective cardio session, such as this intense HIIT workout that takes just 10 minutes.