Sunday, January 11, 2009

How to Use Good Form With Weight Training

Everyone wants those six-pack abs and rippling biceps. The reason some people seem to just grow muscle in their sleep, while others work and work and don't have success, doesn't have to remain a mystery any more. More than anything, proper form, not enormous weights, yields those body-builder results.


1. Slow down to improve the effectiveness of your weight training exercises. When you quickly hurl your arms up to your chest in an attempt to get in one more set of bicep curls, you rely on momentum and your lower back, rather than the muscles you want to target. Instead, slowly bring your arms up to your chest, relying only on your biceps for every inch of movement and then, resisting gravity, slowly bring them back down to your sides. You can feel your muscles working, see faster results and reduce your risk of injury.

2. Control yourself. Make the muscles that you are targeting do all the work. Force one specific set of muscles to control each movement, and make the rest of your body remain neutral. If while working on your arms, you lift with your back or legs, or rely on momentum, your arm muscles can't strengthen and you won't see the results you want.

3. Check your ego. Don't pile extra weight on your barbell just so you won't look wimpy at the gym. Believe it or not, heaving 300 pounds isn't as effective as slowly lifting 150 pounds with controlled, perfect form. Let your muscles do the work properly with a weight that you can handle, and let your results satisfy your ego.

4. Breathe. Proper breathing while lifting is critical for your health and safety. Breathe in as you lift and exhale as you release. Holding your breath can cause unhealthy spikes in your blood pressure and lead to injuries.

5. Concentrate with all your might. Much of effective weight training comes down to focus and concentration. Focus entirely on the muscle at hand and on making it work as hard as possible during each movement. Intense concentration ensures good form and quicker results.

Tips & Warning

* Head to gym and demonstrate your lifting in front of a personal trainer or instructor if you're unsure about your form during any exercise. They can point out weak areas and help you safely yield maximum results.



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