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How To Properly Lift

Many people, including myself, were unsure about lifting weights in public in fear that their form was not correct. I took a weight lifting class last semester and it completely changed my confidence with lifting and I am writing this pillar to help those of you that have been in that position. If you are not lifting with the correct form, you will be missing out on the benefits that lifting has to offer. I learned that the hard way. I was lifting for a couple of months and wondering why I was not feeling the burn where I was supposed to be feeling the burn. So, it is important to learn the correct form and to also know the certain muscles that are provided to be sore from it.

The first type of lifting that I am going to discuss with you guys is for your back muscles. The first type of lift is the deadlift. This can be a very dangerous type of lift if you do not follow the guidelines for a deadlift. Never try to lift more weight than you feel comfortable with. Your feet should be about shoulder length apart. Your hands should be at a comfortable inverse grip. This means that you are not gripping the bar normally. One hand should be facing one way, and the other hand should be facing the opposite way. Your back should be completely straight and your chest should be up in order to prevent injury. You should then lift the bar, while keeping your back straight, and straighten your legs. Some people find it easiest to push their hips forward as they are coming up.

The next back exercise that I want to discuss is rows. These have always confused me, but they are very beneficial, so I force myself to do them when at the gym. You have the choice of using dumbbells or barbells. You will need to have a bench for this exercise, so obviously it is probably only doable at the gym. You are basically going to kneel with one leg on the bench and the other leg will be on the ground, stabilizing you. You want to pull the weight up next to your body. Also, for your form, you want to make sure that your back is straight for this lift as well.

Next, we are going to talk about my favorite exercise for my glutes and legs. The squat! You can do this exercise with a barbell or at a rack. You need to make sure that if you are at a rack, that the bar is at the appropriate height. It has to be easy for you to get it off the rack. Unfortunately, I'm at an awkward height where I'm in between the correct notches. Once you lift the bar, you want to rest it on your upper back (not your neck). Your feet should be facing forward for this lift. Make sure that you have a good, strong stance so that you do not get unbalanced. Then, you will push your hips back as if you are going to sit on a chair. Next go on your tip-toes. That is not going to help your legs or your glutes.

The next muscle that I am going to discuss how to exercise is your chest. I'm guilty of not doing these exercises as often as I should. The first exercise I will discuss is the bench press. This exercise benefits your pectorals AND your arms. During the barbell bench, you will want to position yourself under the 45 pound bar and position your arms a little bit more than shoulder length apart. Make sure that your arms or even, because if they are not, the bar will tip to one side, which can be extremely dangerous. You should always warm up with a weight that you are used to lifting. You do not want to jump into a heavy weight. You should warm up with about 10 reps (of the weight that you find something light). Your eyes should be at level with the bar and your shoulders should never come off the bench. If they do, you are putting yourself at risk of pulling something and you will definitely throw yourself off balance. Make sure that when you bring the bar down, you are just about touching your chest. If not, you are not getting the benefits that this lift is supposed to be giving you. You should hold the weight there for a second before you push the weight back up.

If you are stuck at home, or you do not feel like going the gym, a good exercise for your back, arms, and chest are push ups. For the best push ups, your arms should be a little bit more than shoulder length apart. To make the push up more difficult, you can change the width that you arms are apart. Make sure that you are making your way to the floor slowly, and that you are not rushing your push up. Your back should be straight the entire time. Your back should be straight in pretty much every exercise. Then, you should explode back up into the starting position and repeat this as many times as you can.

The last exercise that I will briefly describe is the dumbbell bench. What I like about this exercise is that you do not need a bench. You just need the dumbbells. All you have to do is find a weight that you are able to do for 10 reps. It should still be a weight that is challenging for you though! When pushing the weights up into the air, you should make sure that the weights touch each other at the very top. After a slight pause, you can bring them back down.

Thank you again for tuning into my page. Let me know if you have any questions or comments about these lifts. Also, let me know if there is any other type of “how to” articles that you would want me to post.

-Kylie