Weight lifting is great for getting in shape and improving your strength and fitness, which can be beneficial for lovers of all things martial arts. However, nothing will affect your ability to participate in the sport you love, more than an injury. Here, we look at some general safety guidelines for weightlifters of all levels, which will help you grow stronger, minus any nasty injuries.
Equip Yourself With the Right Equipment
From weightlifting gloves that will protect your hands from callouses and improve your grip on any bars to weight lifting belts that will help protect your back from injuries, lifting weights involves a little more than just walking into the gym and jumping on the bench press.
To ensure you’re kitted out with everything you need to get off to a good start, make sure you grab these items:
A Lifting Belt: Lifting belts are designed to increase the use of your abs and lower back muscles, while also reducing the stress on your spine. Research has also shown that lifting belts have the potential to increase your strength and muscle growth when regularly used during training sessions.
Weight Lifting Gloves: Wearing weight lifting gloves can improve your grip strength, reducing the chances of a bar of weights slipping out of your hands when your palms start to sweat. They’re also handy for keeping callouses at bay.
Lifting Straps: These handy little straps can help you make size and strength gains that will assist you with your weight lifting efforts. This is because they help you fatigue the muscles you’re targeting before your grip starts to slip. This might sound unsafe, but, muscle gains only occur after you fatigue your target muscles, so these straps can help you optimise your strengthening efforts while minimising your chances of injuring yourself.
Wrist Straps: Wrist straps are designed to support your wrist joint while you work out. The pressing movements of overhead weights can stretch and pull your wrist joints, compromising their mechanics and increasing your chances of injuring yourself. Wrist straps can help minimise this risk.
Knee Wraps: These wraps are highly valued by powerlifters, as they allow more weight to be lifted when moving through the squat and lift motion. However, they can also assist with reducing stress and the pulling forces placed on the quadricep tendon, which is attached to the quadriceps and kneecap.
General Safety Guidelines
Great care should always be taken when undertaking any form of weight lifting activity, even if you’re only lifting lighter weights.
- Always warm up and cool down properly for five to ten minutes every session. If you walk straight into the gym and load the bench press to maximum lifting capacity, there’s a very good chance you’ll injure yourself.
- Pay close attention to your form. Make sure you always align your body correctly and move through each exercise smoothly.
- Maintain a safe lifting tempo. For example, count to three when lowering a weight, hold it, and then count to three again when you raise it back up. This will ensure you won’t compromise your strength gains because of your momentum.
- Inhale breath when you release resistance and exhale when you work against resistance by lifting, pushing or pulling.
- Don’t overdo it! This is probably one of the most important tips that apply to all forms of exercise, including weight lifting and martial arts. Always have a rest day, and never push your body past its limit.
Ready to hit the weights? Grab your weight lifting equipment from Giri Martial Arts Supplies today!