Before you pick up a weight, start off with a warmup. The warmup raises your body's temperature, elongates your muscles, and prepares your body for the main workout. Taking a 5-minute walk, or alternating between squats and lunges is a great way to start. That also brings us to our next point, form. Whether you're squatting as part of the warm-up or with weights in hand, your form is important when it comes to preventing back injuries. Most exercises with weights require your legs to be shoulder-width apart.

Ensure that you are balanced and that your weight is evenly distributed in both legs. Pay attention to your posture. Is your back straight and neutral? It should always be when lifting weights — this includes when selecting them and putting them away. Engaging your core is another must when it comes to proper form. You'll find that this goes hand in hand with ensuring your back stays straight.

With all this in mind, it's easy to forget to breathe. When you hold your breath, your muscles get tense because they're not getting the oxygen they need. Focus on exhaling while exerting strength and inhaling while releasing: A steady breath may help with steady movement. Moving through the exercise slowly and steadily with proper form requires patience. It may be tempting to rush through a workout, especially if you have limited time, but doing so leaves more room for injury.

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