Before you set out on a weightlifting routine, it’s vital to understand the fundamentals. For example, to help avoid injury, it’s essential to know why and how to warm up your muscles beforehand and giving yourself time to cool down afterward. Additionally, you must learn to breathe while engaging in lighting weights properly. In this article, up-and-coming Torrance Personal Trainer, Ken Inoue, explains how to get the most out of your workouts while paying attention to the details.
When you arrive at the gym, your body is not ready for exercise—especially when it comes to lifting weights. You need to prime your muscles for the workout to avoid complications like injuries, increased exertion, and more.
Warming up before you lift serves to unlock your muscles’ mobility, improve body control, and ignite more powerful muscle contractions. Engage in light aerobic work or cardiovascular conditioning to get started. You can also engage in some soft-tissue releasing through a foam roller or tennis ball to help with mobility.
Breathing During Exercise
Many individuals struggle to breathe while lifting weights. Holding your breath can lead to decreased oxygen levels reaching your brain and hinder your workout performance. Not to mention the other risks, including discomfort in the check and back muscles, weakened muscles in your pelvic floor and lower back, and disruption of proper movement of the shoulders and spine.
Always exhale on exertion. If you are pushing a bench press, for example, you should exhale as you drive up and inhale as you bring the bar slowly back down to your chest. For a pull-up, exhale while you are pulling up and inhale on the way down. Repeat this practice no matter what exercise you are engaging in—your lungs and muscles will thank you when it’s finally time to exit the gym.
Ken Inoue recommends experimenting with diaphragmatic breathing or “belly breathing” to take your breath control to the next level.
When your weightlifting routine is finished, that doesn’t mean it’s time to walk out of the gym. You need to cool your body down to lower your chance of future injury, promote healthy blood flow, and reduce stress to your heart and other key muscles. Additionally, you’ll lower your heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure back to their normal levels before carrying on with your usual daily activities.
You should allocate at least 10 minutes for a cool down after weightlifting. Light jogging or walking and stretching are great places to get started. Ensure you are hitting as many muscle groups as possible when you stretch, even if they weren’t explicitly targeted during your workout. Taking care of your whole body will serve to recenter your body out of the metabolic state so that you can go forth without soreness or discomfort.
When working out with a weightlifting strategy, it’s important to pay attention to the details. A lack of attention to warming up, breathing while you exercise, and proper cool-down techniques can lead to increased risks of injury, discomfort, and soreness. Don’t take a chance—work out the right way!
About Ken Inoue
Ken Inoue, originally from Torrance, California, is a certified personal trainer. As a life-long surfer, he learned how to embrace the laid back So-Cal vibes in tandem with a vigorous yet rewarding exercise routine from a young age. A firm believer in finding multiple paths to fitness, Mr. Inoue tailors exercise plans to the individual to create accessible, motivating, and efficient sessions with balanced results.