Every day I find myself handing out advice. It also tends to be the same advice over and over. So, for the next few blogs I am going to share the “tips” I find myself giving out most often that could help with your workouts, keep you from getting injured, and help maintain your focus for hitting your goals.
Part 1: Lifting and body mechanics
- Knees behind toes- No, I am not suggesting you play Twister…although that sounds like fun. Instead, when doing squats or lunges, look down. If your knees are jutting out over your toes, there is likely undo strain being placed on your knees. Step out a little farther so when you squat your knees are behind your toes.
- Chest and head up when squatting- if you look down when lifting an object, the tendency is to flatten out the lumbar spine and place increased strain on the back. So, think “head and chest up” when lifting to keep the lumbar spine in its naturally curved position.
- Lift with your legs- everyone knows this one but so few do it! Perhaps it is because of lack of flexibility combined with lack of energy that people allow gravity to pull the trunk forward instead of lowering their trunk with their legs. You won’t lift with your legs if you don’t use them to get into position. You can start strengthening your legs by leaning against a wall and sliding down to do mini-squats. This can also help control dust around your house!
- Use a wide base of support- unless you are trying to balance on one leg in the yoga “tree” pose, spread your legs apart when exercising, especially when lifting weights from the floor. It will increase your stability and help you be able to lift more weight safely.
So, there you go. Don’t worry, I’m not going to bill you for a 15 minute therapy unit. This one is on me. But now, it’s on you. As you exercise to achieve your goal, remember to use good body mechanics so you stay healthy and injury-free in the process.