Good morning again, I hope the last “goals” blog was beneficial to you.  This week I wanted to take about “form” during weight training. In order to be competitive in most sports today you have to do some kind of weight training.  Whether you are trying to get stronger, faster, or more powerful over all, weight training is an essential part of that process.  The last thing you want is to suffer an injury because you weren’t using good form while lifting weights! Although proper form can vary from exercise to exercise, there are some general rules you can follow with all exercises to stay safe and help prevent injury:

1.)    Warm up!: I know this isn’t technically talking about “form”  but it is extremely important for preventing injury. Before you lift weights take a couple of minutes to get the blood flowing to your muscles.  Run in place, do jumping jacks, arm circles, ext. This will help get your muscles and joints ready for the workout

2.)    Keep good posture: If you are doing an exercise that requires you to stand or sit (ie: bicep curls, shoulder fly) good posture is very important.  Avoid arching your back or hunching over which can put unnecessary stress on your back.

3.)    Keep your core tight: Your CORE is the area from the bottom of your chest to the top of your hips, it’s what holds everything together.  If you aren’t sure what I mean by keeping your core tight, think about if someone came up to you and pretended to punch you in the stomach. Your reaction to that would be to tighten up your mid-section to absorb the blow, and that’s what tightening up your core feels like!  Keep in mind that a tight core and good posture go hand in hand.

4.)    Remember to breath!!:  You need to breath to live so why stop when your weight training?! I see this way too often, an athlete is working really hard in the weight room and trying to push through that last rep on the bench press, their face turns bright red and it looks like their head is going to explode! This is because they are forgetting to breathe through the rep..  Holding your breath is not only bad for blood pressure but it also gives you a terrible head ache!

5.)    Stay in your normal range of motion:  Avoid exercises that hyper extend your joints! A good example of this is doing lat pull downs and pulling down behind your head. This is not a natural range of motion and could lead to injury.