In this article, there are some different types of techniques you can utilize for different situations when lifting weights.
Read on to learn more and then start to apply them when you need them.
Practicing lifting weight
Anytime you are practicing, use very minimal weight, and focus on your movement first. After you are comfortable with the technique, you can gradually add more weight until you find the most weight you can do correctly.
As a rule of thumb, if you can only lift 15 pounds from the height of your knees with proper form, that means you are going to be causing yourself pain or injury if you have to move a 25-pound bag of dog food. Apply this concept to not only your workout, but day to day activities.
Once you have determined what your weight lifting threshold is, then you can use this information to decide how to move forward.
Ask yourself if you want to work on building up your strength to be able to lift what you need to do, have someone else help you when lifting weight, or lift the weight and accept the pain that will accompany it.
Lifting Weights Properly: Power Lift
When lifting weights or objects in a power lift stance, position your body over the item to be lifted. Lower your body towards the object by bending your hips and knees and only using a squat motion.
Lean forward from your hips, but do not round your back. Grasp the item, set your core muscles, and lift straight up with your legs, keeping your head steady.
- Bend forward at your hips (stick your butt out)
- You should be able to see your toes
- Use your glutes by tightening your buttocks to return to stand
- Keep objects close to your body; it makes it easier to lift
- Move with your feet, don’t twist with your back
Lifting Weights Properly: Golfer’s Lift
This lift helps promote safe technique when reaching down to pick up small objects off of the floor or when reaching over a barrier.
This is more energy-efficient than squatting every time you drop a pencil and uses minimal force on your back.
This is only for very light objects. This technique should be used with objects that are five pounds or less.
When practicing the “Golfer’s Lift,” one foot stays fixed on the ground as you lean forward horizontally to the object.
Then, the back leg points straight back behind you to counterbalance the weight of the upper back. Ensure that your back remains straight the entire time.
- Bend at your hip and lower if you need to by bending your knee
- Avoid losing your balance by holding onto the edge of a table or wall
- Move in one smooth movement forward and return in 1 movement by allowing your back leg to drop down as you return to standing.
Lifting Weights Properly: Split Stance
The “Split Stance” technique is a great option for lifting items out of an object that requires reaching into, such as a trunk of a car or a chest freezer.
This technique can also be used for reaching and moving items that are shoulder height or above. The “Split Stance” works well for putting dishes away on a higher shelf or cleaning higher surfaces.
This lift makes things easier to control, much easier on your back, and provides more stability which can allow you to do or lift more.
For this lift, place one foot in front of the other in a staggered stance. Have a comfortable amount of space between your feet; they don’t need to be directly in front of one another.
Block the front knee against the edge of the item, if available, such as the bumper of a car or against a cabinet. Then bend forward at your hips, keeping your back straight.
You will lean forward toward whatever you are reaching, as opposed to potentially falling backwards or to the side.
Tighten your stomach muscles to stabilize your back. Shift your weight from your back foot to the front foot as you lean forward.
As you grab the object you need and return to standing, use your glutes to lift yourself back up, or to support you, not your back. Shift your weight from the front leg to the back leg, and then return to your starting position.
- The more heavy or awkward the object, the wider the stance should be.
- Shift your weight to your forward leg to pick up the object and then back to the leg behind to pull the object toward you.
Lifting Weights Properly: Technique and things to keep in mind
When practicing these techniques and starting lifting weights, make sure you are using the right area and starting with moving a couple of inches.
Keep in mind, you don't have to do everything the first time. As this gets easier, you will naturally begin to go farther.
If you have pain, stop. Add repetitions of the level you are at and don't try to force anything.
As soon as you force something, the weakest area of your body will give first, not necessarily the area of focus, and your larger, stronger muscles will take over.
Just remember to take things slow, don’t push yourself, and stay consistent!