Weight Training Safety Tips and Precautions
Weightlifting can be fun. Also, this is a great way to get in shape and stay in shape. But like any physical activity weightlifting is not without some inherent risks. In fact, the potential for injury in the weight room begins the first time you pick up a weight from the rack. Many people who are otherwise careful grab and carry it with one hand, inviting injury before they even begin the workout. The good news is that you can easily avoid many potential injuries by practicing good technique and observing proper safety precaution. In this post we will try to explain some of the most important weight lifting safety rules. Remembering these weight training safety tips will spare you from many troubles and possible dangerous injuries.
Weight training Safety tips & rules
There are safety measures that apply to most weight-training exercises as well as precautions for specific exercises.
We can summarise some good lifting practices with a simple set of rules below, most of which should be common sense for most people.
List of the most important weight training safety tips
Injuries are an athlete’s worst enemy. Follow all of these weight training safety tips so you don’t break your stride and keep working out.
- Always perform the exercise using proper exercise technique. Inform yourself. Proper form will provide you with the best results and help keep you injury free. Never compromise the quality of your workout in order to simply get more reps or sets out.
- Use a spotter. Never attempt a maximal lift without a spotter capable of assisting if you get stuck. If you are in the gym and planning to train to failure, ask someone to spot for you, or at the very least work from a bench where you can rack the bar at any height.
- Always use safety collars on the bars. Collars prevent the weight plates from moving on the bar, which can destabilize the lift and lead to serious injury. To stay safe always collar your weights on every lift.
- Pick up and lower the weights properly – with good form. There is little point lifting with excellent form and then putting the bar down with terrible form. Most injuries in the gym come from picking up and putting weights down improperly. To avoid chronic lower-back problems, be sure to bend at the knees and to keep your back straight every time you pick up or put down weights.
- Never train through pain or injury. Pain is usually a sign that something is not working the way it should. If you repeatedly continue to load that problem area you are asking for trouble. Many chronic problems, such as shoulder impingement, often start with a little pain before getting steadily worse.
- Always warm up thoroughly before attempting maximals. It goes without saying that you should warm-up before you train. If you are planning to lift free weights (dumbbells; barbells) at maximal or close to maximal level then you should work up to those weights using a progression of lighter weights.
- If training at home or on your own in the gym, keep a phone close to hand in case of an accident. For those with gyms in their shed or garage this is an essential rule to follow. Always keep a phone within arm’s reach in case of an accident.
- Always unload heavy bars evenly when racked. Unloading the bar unevenly results in the barbell detaching itself fairly explosively from the rack, usually accompanied by a large and embarrassing noise. To avoid this ensure that you load and unload bars evenly when they are racked.
List of other safety precautions for lifting weights
The following are also guidelines for safe weight training. Read them all very carefully.
- Consult your physician. It is required for everyone to check with his or her physician before beginning any of the prescribed programs or before increasing the intensity to any of the programs. Read this post for more informations: medical checkup for weight training.
- Do not drop weights. Not only can this break the weights, but it can also be very dangerous for everyone in the gym. Always put the weights back in a controlled manner.
- Breathe correctly. It is very important to breathe while performing any exercise, inhaling on the negative part of the lift and exhaling on the positive part. Do not hold your breath! Holding your breath can affect your blood pressure, potentially causing dizziness or fainting.
- Train in appropriate clothing (dress properly). Training clothing should allow you to move comfortably through all planes of movement and again should reflect your attitude towards your workout. You don’t have to be wearing the very latest in dry-fit spandex but you should be using both appropriate footwear and sport training clothing.
- Sit down before you fall down if you feel faint. A big set of squats can really take it out of you, so, should you start to feel a little light-headed, lie down before you fall down.
- Drink enough water. Even if you are not thirsty, be sure to drink lots of water before and during your workout, especially if you anticipate a lot of perspiration. As you become dehydrated, your ability to perform work drops way off, which will limit your intensity and slow your progress. More info: Importance od water in sport nutrition.
- Use your head. If you begin to feel sick, queasy, light-headed, or if you experience joint or chest pain, stop your session and get yourself checked out immediately.
- Clear your weight as you go. Weight room etiquette seems to be largely nonexisting in most places, but that is no excuse for leaving your bar or weights on the gym floor. It only takes a few seconds to replace them and prevents them from becoming a significant hazard to others.
- Move carefully and slowly in the weight room. The weight lifting area is not a good place for sudden, unexpected movements.
- Stay clear of other lifters and spotters. Avoid collisions with people and equipment.
- Fix broken exercise equipment immediately, set it aside, or put a sigh on it. Do not attempt to use broken equipment.
- Do not twist your body, arch your back, or arch your neck while attempting to complete a lift.
- Exercising in extreme environments (exercising in hot weather, exercising in cold weather) has its own set of special safety rules.
When done properly, weight training can be a very effective way to sculpt your body and achieve your athletic potential. On top of all of the performance-enhancing benefits to weight training, it also plays a major role in injury reduction, injury prevention, and injury rehabilitation. With stronger muscles supporting your bones, tendons, and ligaments, you will be much less injury prone. Furthermore, you will be able to perform most activities hard and strong all the time. However, if necessary weight training safety tips and precautions are not followed, injuries can result. So train smart!