Weight lifting is a great way to get in shape, but, if done incorrectly, can lead to injuries that cause back and shoulder pain. Here are six weight lifting mistakes to avoid:

  • Wrong technique. Weight lifting involves very precise movements in order to both maximize muscle actuation and minimize injury. Using the wrong technique may result in a number of injuries, including back and shoulder pain. Use no or very little weight at first to practice before you back on the plates. Also, learn how to properly exit a repetition if you do it wrong.
  • Too much weight. When you see pictures of professional weight lifters working with massive amounts of weight, it’s tempting to want to throw on a few extra pounds and try it yourself. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts in weightlifting. That person you saw started with the minimum weight and worked upward from there, and so should. Too much weight encourages bad posture and technique, which results in injury.
  • Little or no warm up. Warm ups are a critical part of weight lifting. They help limber up joints and muscles and increase blood flow, allowing you to get the most of your exercise. Not warming up will not only prevent you from maximizing your workout, but it may lead to injuries. Warm ups should be high repetition, low intensity, quickly paced workouts, like jogging, biking or swimming.
  • Not stretching. Many people confuse stretching and warming up, but the two are distinctly different. Stretching should be done after warming up and before and after your workout. Stretching relaxes and elongates muscles, which supports muscle growth. It will also help eliminate soreness the next day.
  • Training too often. Over training can negatively impact your body’s strength and conditioning, leading to injury. Muscles require rest in order to recuperate and grow. That muscle fatigue results in you being not being able to lift as much as you should and contributes to poor posture. For the best results, limit strength training to four to five, one hour sessions a week, making sure not to work out more than two days in a row.
  • Poor nutrition. Your workouts and nutrition should reflect your personal goals. If you want to put on muscle, eat a lot of healthy calories and work out with heavy weights at low repetition counts. For weight loss, cut your intake and weight, but increase the number of repetitions and intensity. If you work out with heavy weights but are not eating enough calories, then you’re likely to get hurt, as your muscles may not be able to support the workout.
  • Poor concentration. While working out, that should be your only focus. Concentrating on your focus will allow you to maintain your posture and technique, performing your exercise correctly to avoid injury. If you become distracted, you may start doing these wrong, leading to a greater risk of injury.

If you’ve been weight lighting and suffer from chronic shoulder and back aches, find the relief you’re looking for by scheduling an appointment with a professional chiropractor right away.