Health & Fitness

Mistakes people make when lifting weights at home

gym

Summary

  • It's always a good idea to work with a trainer in some capacity, at least at first, even if it's on a video or Zoom chat, so you get a baseline of what to expect in your workout.

If you managed to score a set of dumbbells recently, here's how to start a workout program at home.

One of the most important aspects of any workout, but especially weight lifting, is practicing good form for each exercise you do. But that can be difficult to master when you don't have someone watching you and showing you what to do.

It's always a good idea to work with a trainer in some capacity, at least at first, even if it's on a video or Zoom chat, so you get a baseline of what to expect in your workout. But if that's out of your price range, or you just want to get started now, let this be your guide.

Now, let's explore five common beginner weight-lifting mistakes and how to fix them.

1. Using incorrect form

Learning correct form is one of the most important parts of your weight-lifting routine, since not using correct form and technique can lead to injury.

Good form is imperative to prevent injury and help your muscles get stronger.

How to fix it

"Spend time early on studying deadlift, squat and press videos, including the chest press and shoulder press, or hire a coach who can give you feedback, whether in person or virtually," Whitney says.

If you don't want to hire a trainer, you can also record yourself doing each workout move with your form to watch after. "If you're not in the market for a trainer, I suggest propping up your phone and recording yourself," says Tatiana Lampa, a certified personal trainer and founder of Training with T.

2. Skipping the warm-up

It's tempting to jump straight into a workout, but with weight training, it's especially important to take the time to warm up properly.

How to fix it

You can start with foam rolling, or a dynamic yoga flow to warm up your body.

3. Using the same weights for months at a time

The key to getting strong and seeing the results you want with weight training is to progressively challenge yourself. In other words, don't let your workout feel too easy.

"To continue to make progress, you must increase the demands (the resistance) on your body by increasing the weights every four to six weeks, or whenever you can," Whitney says.

How to fix it

If the reps you do start to feel easy, then you know that's a sign to move up a few pounds. "The good news is, the research shows you can make a lot of progress here if you are new to weight training. This is colloquially referred to as 'newbie gains,'" Whitney says.

4. Overtraining or using weights that are too heavy

On the flip side of not progressing your weights often or challenging yourself is overdoing it.

How to fix it

"If you can't finish a set without taking a break or severely modifying your form, that's a sign to drop the weight lower, until you find the right amount of challenge," Whitney says.

5. Not following a programme

There's nothing wrong with following YouTube or Instagram workout videos to help you get started, but you will get the best results if you have some sort of workout plan or strategy in place.