If not done properly, lifting weights can be a recipe for personal disaster. Not only will using the correct posture help you get more out of your training time in the gym, but it will also prevent injuries – some of which can be debilitating for a long time.
Here are five tips to using the correct posture when lifting weights:
1) Look straight ahead
In weight lifting, one of the most important things you can do is to keep your whole spine in a straight line from your neck down to your tailbone. By looking straight ahead, your neck stays in line with your spine, thus reducing the risk of suffering a neck injury.
2) Keep your shoulders back and chest in while lifting weights
When lifting weights, the back has a tendency to either round forward or to arch back, both of which can lead to injuries. With a rounded back, you are slightly bent forward; with an arched back, your back is overextended backward. In both situations, weight is not directly over your spine thereby increasing your chances for a painful herniated disk.
3) Slightly bend your knees
When lifting over your head, a slight bend at the knees also helps keep your spine straight and the weight centered over it. Locked knees lead to a rounding of your back and we already know what that can lead to.
4) Keep your back straight
Most of what we have already talked about has led us to this overarching principle – keep the weight centered over the spine by keeping your back straight or slightly overarched, very slightly. You don’t want the weight you are lifting to be too far forward or too far back. Strive to keep it centered over your spine and keeping your back straight will help accomplish this.
5) Keep your weight evenly balanced on your feet
Proper lifting form includes having your feet shoulder-width apart and your body (and the weight you are lifting) spread out evenly over the soles of your feet. To prevent hurting the arches in your feet, be sure to wear shoes with good arch support. Spreading the weight evenly over your whole foot provides you with a stable base and reduces the risk that a lift will throw you off balance possibly injuring your or someone close to you working out.
Maintaining good posture is so important to having good lifting form not to mention reducing your risk for an injury that can put you down for a long time. By using the correct posture to lift, you can safely get more out of your lifting sessions.