How to Lift Weights
In one of my previous article, I went through the steps on How to Set up a Home Gym on a Budget. Also I had an article explaining some of the Best Workout Recovery Techniques. In this article, let us concentrate on lifting some weights the proper way, shall we? Well, that’s a sensible thing to do and everyone has the same question – How to Lift Weights in the right manner and avoid hurting your back in the process.
Developing a good weight lifting routine is important, and so is learning some of the correct techniques for doing it. Lifting weights is a great way to get in shape, so let me chime in with some suggestions for you start pumping iron!
Before lifting (or better said, before any kind of physical training) make sure that at least one or two hours have passed since your last meals, otherwise you might end up with cramps; you also must do a warm up routine before any kind of exercise.
This will get your body stretched and ready for the workout, and above everything, it’ll get more oxygen into your bloodstream, which will play a vital role in preventing or at least mitigating muscle soreness after the work out.
Alright, having said this, let us discuss your approach, do you want to know how to lift weights at the gym, or how to lift weights at home? Perhaps you’re looking lifting weights for strength or you’re looking how to lift weights to tone? Regardless of what you want, I’ve got you covered!
By the way, if you feel like practicing a fun sport, I’d like to recommend you check TheTwinSpin blog for the advice how to play this game and how to choose the best ping pong rackets and equipment. If you decide to go the gym approach for lifting weights, you’d be delighted to know many un-expensive gyms have tennis tables!
How to Lift Weights at the Gym
If you’re going to lift weights at a gym, you first have to make sure it has all the essentials, typically, a basic gym should have:
- Olympic Barbell.
- Squat Rack or Power Rack.
- Dumbbells (up to 100 or 150 lbs, if you’re looking to build more strength you might want them heavier).
- Dip Station or Pullup Bar.
- Bench press or at least a flat bench with racks.
Anything else besides that is up to you, some gyms offer free classes, other have childcare (if you have kids), most gyms have training packages and trainers which you can employ, some for free others are paid.
Your typical routine should involve:
Arguably, one the most popular work out moves, you just have to lie on your back, and lift the weight straight up from your chest, if you’re new to lifting you’d be wise to ask for someone to help you rack/unrack the weight.
Pretty similar to the bench press, but it involves lifting a single dumbbell in each hand, rather than a single one with both hands, this is a better way of building muscle balance between your sides.
Either standing or seated, let each dumbbell down at your sides, and bring them up to your chest, one at a time, by flexing your biceps.
Dumbbell rows exercise both your arms and the sides of your back, you execute this exercise by kneeling on a bench, supporting your body with one arm, and letting the other down with the dumbbell, then lifting each dumbbell from the ground up toward your chest, do some repetitions and then switch to the other arm.
Lunges with Dumbbells
A basic lunge exercise but done while holding dumbbells; as if you were about to do bicep curls, you will take a step forward, keeping your back straight and your torso flexed, you will then kneel until your leg bends and contacts the ground.
It is important you add weight progressively, between one and two weeks of training with one weight until you progress to the other, you can exercise with weights that feel too heavy but neither can you exercise with weights that feel too light.
How to Lift Weights at Home
For a number of reasons, you might decide to keep your weight lifting at home, it has a few pros (and a few cons as well) but if do decide to go that route you will need to get a set of dumbbells, preferably you should get a set with varying dumbbell weights as you have to progressively change them for your training.
I’d recommend getting the following combination of weights:
- Two (2) – 5-pound weights
- Two (2) – 10-pound weights
- Two (2) – 15-pound weights
Before purchasing that, try giving them a test drive, I’d suggest lifting each dumbbell with your strong arm 10 times, if you feel it didn’t even challenge you, buy a heavier one, if you feel exhausted, go for a lighter one.
Once you’ve got your dumbbells ready, let’s get down with your routine:
Bench Press (in the floor, bed, or a bench)
Lying on your chosen surface and with your feet planted on the ground, you will hold a dumbbell in each hand, and these should lie along your body at your chest’s level. You will proceed to simultaneously raise them up towards the ceiling and you will hold them up for a few moments before lowering them and repeating.
In the position of a bench press, you will raise both your hands, holding the dumbbells side to side, and then you will descend your arms in opposite directions until your elbows hit the floor.
Lying your back on top a bench or a bed, you will hold one weight with both hands just behind your head, and then you will raise your arms up, lifting the weight toward the ceiling, hold the weight a few moments up, and then slowly release your arms back down to the position behind your head.
A great exercise for your shoulder blades, start out by holding a semi-squat position, flexing your torso forward while bending at the hips. It’s important you keep your back straightened, with a dumbbell in each hand, you will let your arms down, each arm in front of each leg, and then you will lift them to your chest’s height in an outermost move, until each dumbbell is far from each other with your elbows making a 90°-degree cone with your arms.
Seated Shoulder Press
Sitting in a chair, bed, or bench, you will lift each dumbbell at shoulder height and your palms facing forward, then you will push your dumbbells straight up, until your arms are side-to-side, hold them for a moment, and then you will bring them down again at shoulder height.
I’d like to point out a piece of general advice, regardless of your approach, you should take a “cool-down” routine after your weight lifting, just running on the treadmill, cycling, or even doing a few squats for 10 minutes will cool you down enough.
After that, I really recommend you to take a shower, not only it’s hygienic, but it’s healthy as you need to cool down your muscles, and personally, when you cool down that heat sensation in your body with a cold shower it feels simply amazing.
I hope that this article helped you shed some light on weight lifting. Please do share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.