Correct Posture for Lifting Weights

A guide to maintaining the right posture when weight lifting.

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.

Yoga Breathing Benefits

One of the best things is all of the yoga breathing benefits you learn here.

In our introduction we mentioned the three key elements of Hatha Yoga: meditation, posture or poses, and breathing. We’ll discuss hata yoga breathing in this article and reveal why this kind of breathing is more than just simple inhalation and exhalation.

Yoga Breathing Benefits – The Value of Oxygen

Those who are very much adept in the ways of yoga know that breathing (Pranayama in Sanskrit) is intimately linked to our mental processes. That is to say, the way you think and perceive the world around you can be affected when you have breathing disturbances that may be caused by:

  • illness (such as emphysema or even the common cold),
  • environmental factors (such as cigarette smoke and/or air pollution), and,
  • location-related factors (such as when you are in high altitudes and only “thin air” is available).

There’s a physiological reason for this. Your brain, which is where your mental processes happen, is an organ that’s only about 3% of your whole body mass. Yet, it is the organ that consumes or uses more than 20% of your body’s total oxygen content.

When your brain is deprived of oxygen (delivered through the bloodstream), conditions such as failing memory, inability to maintain balance, and deficient focus can result. You may also experience distorted perceptions of reality or hallucinations.

Yoga Breathing Benefits – Staying Fit and Balanced

Stress can also affect your breathing, which may become too rapid for comfort. Some people even pass out from improper breathing, and while the effect on your inner stability may not be readily apparent, the results of wrong methods of inhaling and exhaling will show up over time (depression, a dour disposition, and lack of interest in living—just to name a few).

Yoga breathing addresses these problems.

Rhythmic, Slow, and Deep

Through rhythmic, slow, and deep breathing, you will be able to ensure that cells in your body get all the oxygen they need. Waste and toxins in your body are eliminated with less difficulty, as well. Most important of all, the regular practice of yoga breathing in your life can calm excessive desires, such as a strong yearning to eat even when already full.

It is in those perspectives that breathing the Hatha Yoga way can be highly beneficial towards the achievement of health and wellness. When you begin practicing yoga poses, like the ones we provide to you when you subscribe to our Newsletter, you’ll appreciate understanding yoga breathing techniques to enhance your yoga workout sessions. Next up, we’ll look at doing yoga exercises and provide a few examples.