5 pro tips on strength training

Posted on: 27/03/2018

Strength training plays an important role in maintaining your overall health and fitness.  If you are a regular gym rat or you have recently made the decision to begin lifting, it pays to lift smart. While lifting weights will support you in building muscle, burning fat and strengthen the skeletal system, none of which becomes possible if you lift badly and end up with an injury.

I know a thing or two about working out harder, smarter and most importantly how to achieve results safely.

Follow these five pro tips, and you’ll be lifting weights for years to come.

1.SAVE STATIC STRETCHING FOR LAST

Static stretching creates instability at the joint, which will not help your strength-training efforts.  Instead opt for more dynamic movements prior to a workout. Think about air squats, lunges, high-knees and other low-impact exercises to warm up your body before applying a load.

2. BE SMART WITH YOUR EXERCISE ORDER

Start big and work small. In practical terms, focus on the large muscles first (chest, back, legs), which means biceps curls should not come before chest.

3. RECOVERY

The single most important factor of staying injury-free is recovery, and it starts with a decent night sleep is allowing the muscles and joints to recover sufficiently. Ultimately your sleep should be 7–8 hours each night.

4. EAT MORE FAT

Ensure you consume a good level of unsaturated fats.  Specifically, eat more omega-3’s, which you can find in foods like salmon, walnuts, spinach and flaxseed. These will help to manage your body’s inflammatory response, which means healthier joints and quicker recovery time.

5. DON’T GO TOO HEAVY TOO QUICKLY

This is probably the most common mistake made in the gym with people lifting weights.  Your biggest and only competitor in fitness should be yourself. Don’t sacrifice form for weight, especially when staying healthy and injury-free is a priority.”

For general injury prevention, I also advise that we develop our trunk. Our spines are made to flex, rotate and extend, but neglecting some routine maintenance can lead to weaknesses, imbalances and as a result, injuries can occur.

Look out for my next blog on the importance of core strength and how this is the key foundation for movement.