Best Books About Strength Training in 2023
Strength Training Nutrition 101: Build Muscle & Burn Fat Easily...A Healthy Way Of Eating You Can Actually Maintain (Strength Training 101)
Strength Training Anatomy, 3rd Edition
Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning
Delavier's Women's Strength Training Anatomy Workouts
Easy Running Plans: Total-Body Training for Speed, Strength, and Endurance
Strength Training: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to a Stronger, Sculpted Body
The Strength Training Anatomy Workout: Starting Strength with Bodyweight Training and Minimal Equipment
Shape Your Body into V Shape : Weight Training for You / Weight Training for Everybody / Everything About Weight Training
The Strength Training Anatomy Workout II: Building Strength and Power with Free Weights and Machines
Delavier's Core Training Anatomy
Preventing Weight Training Injuries
With weight lifting injuries on the rise, it's important to remember some simple tips to help prevent injuries in the weight room the first place.
Sad for the nearly one million folks treated in the ER but good news for you, weight training injuries are easily preventable. Here are my top tips for staying safe and injury-free in the weight room.
Use A Personal Trainer
If you haven't lifted weights before, or even if you have, the guidance of a certified personal trainer can be a godsend. If you've just joined a gym, often your membership will come with one or two free sessions with a certified personal trainer. Otherwise, purchasing a couple sessions at your gym or with an in-home trainer should only set you back $75-150. Your personal trainer can show you how to do your weight training safely, correctly, and for the greatest payoff. A trainer can also help you determine what lifts will be most beneficial for you and your goals, and how to work with any injuries or conditions you may have. No workout dvd or magazine can do that for you, so it's especially important to consult a certified personal trainer if you need some personalization in your workouts, and most of us do to some extent.
When lifting weights, ALWAYS use slow, controlled movements. When you go fast, you get sloppy, and open yourself up to hyper-extending joints, tearing tendons and ligaments, and just losing control of the weights and hurting yourself with the physical equipment you're using. By lifting weights slowly and deliberately, not only are you lifting more safely but you can get more out of every repetition and really use your full range of motion and all your support muscles.
Use The Mirrors
Gyms don't have mirrors just so that bodybuilders can pose the day away. You should always be watching your self in the mirror, especially when lifting heavy and the stakes are high. Are you sure you're not leaning too far forward in your squats, putting unnecessary strain on your knees? Do you know if your wrists bend at an unsafe angle when you do your bench presses? Is your back really straight when you do lat pull, shoulder press, and deadlifts? Always check your form in the mirrors, and if you don't have any for your home gym, get some. Even better than just mirrors? A knowledgeable spotter is your best friend in the weight room.
Keep Your Core Engaged
Back injuries are the worst, interfering with pretty much every single thing you do. The easiest way to prevent them, is the keep your core (i.e. the muscles in the trunk of your body) consciously engaged during every lift. By keeping your abs tight and your back muscles slightly flexed, to keep your back nice and upright, you are giving your back the strong, constant support it needs to not get wrenched during your weight lifting exercises.
Increase Weight/Resistance and Amount of Training Safely
A lot of weight training injuries are directly related to lifting too much weight, or just plain lifting too much. You should be increasing the weight on your lifts only by about 5-10% when you decide to increase the difficulty of a particular lift. Even then, be careful to never overload your muscles to the point that your extremities completely fail during a lift. This is very dangerous! Worse, people usually do this to themselves in the gym trying to impress others around them. Don't let your ego guide your lifting! Also beware of overtraining. If your muscles don't recover adequately between lifting sessions, they could fail during a lift even if you haven't increased your weight or resistance unsafely. Always take rest days and give muscle groups at least a full day off before training them again.
Listen To Your Body!
Chances are that if you're doing a lift wrong, your body will tell you. No pain, no gain, is a saying that doesn't belong in the weight room. You should be working hard, you should feel the "burn" and fatigue that comes with working hard on your weight training. But you should NOT be in pain. If a lift is hurting you, stop immediately and consult your trainer and/or your physician. You may have an injury or you may simply be executing the lift with improper form. Use good judgement here and don't ignore any pain or discomfort that persists even with proper form and appropriate weight.
Kerr ZY, Collins CL, Comstock RD. Epidemiology of weight training-related injuries presenting to United States emergency departments, 1990 to 2020. Am J Sports Med. 2020;38:765-771.