If you’re like most people, free weights aren’t the wisest approach to bodybuilding. After all, you’re lifting heavy objects and straining your muscles, so it’s only natural to worry that you might hurt yourself!
But the truth is, free weights are safe when used properly. In fact, they can help reduce your risk of injuries in the future. This is because lifting free weights forces your body to stabilize the weight and, consequently, helps build strength in the muscles and connective tissues around the joints. The result: improved joint stability and less chance of injuries in the future.
Do I Risk Hurting Myself with Free Weights?
Of course, there is always a risk of injury when lifting any weight, but free weights can be one of the safest ways to train. As long as you use proper form and don’t lift more than you can handle, free weights can help you stay strong and healthy for years to come.
But, with any activity, there are risks of injury. The most common injury in weightlifting is dropping weights on your body. Fortunately, you can avoid this type of injury by using a spotter or lifting lighter weights.
Weightlifter’s Elbow or Tricep Tendonitis
Another common injury from free weights is something called “weightlifter’s elbow” or tricep tendonitis. It’s caused by repetitive elbow motions, like those occurring when lifting weights. When afflicted by this condition, the tendons in your elbow become inflamed and painful.
Weightlifter’s elbow is a serious condition that can cause long-term damage to your elbow joint. If you start to feel pain in your muscles or joints, take a break from lifting and see a doctor if the pain persists.
There are a few things you can do to prevent the weightlifter’s elbow or any other free weight injuries:
- Make sure you warm up before lifting weights: warming up helps loosen your muscles and joints and prevent injury.
- Use the proper form when lifting weights: if you’re unsure how to do an exercise correctly, ask a trainer or another experienced lifter for help.
- Don’t lift more weight than you can handle: it’s tempting to lift heavier weights as you get stronger, but this approach increases your risk of injury. If you’re not sure how much weight is safe to lift, ask a trainer or your doctor.
Free weights can be a great way to get strong and fit, but like any type of exercise, they aren’t risk-free. However, you can help prevent free weight injuries by taking precautions and using proper form.
Benefits Outweigh the Risks
Even with the possibility of injury, weightlifting with free weights is still considered a reliable way for people to stay in shape.
One of the benefits of lifting free weights is preventing sarcopenia, i.e., the loss of muscle mass and strength. It’s one of the most common age-related diseases. You can help prevent the loss of your muscle mass by doing regular weightlifting exercises with free weights.
Another great benefit of weightlifting is increasing your bone density. When you lift weights, your bones have to work harder to support your body. This extra work strengthens your bones and can help prevent osteoporosis later in life. So, if you’re looking for a way to keep your bones healthy and strong, free weights are the way to go!
Free Weight and Weight Loss
Most people think of free weights as a way to bulk up, but they can be great for weight loss! The key is to focus on body composition, not just weight. Free weights help you build muscle, and muscle burns more calories than fat. So, even if the scale doesn’t budge, you could still lose fat and gain muscle!
Mobility and Balance
Free weights are a great way to stay in shape and improve your body mechanics and balance, especially as you get older. Research has shown that balance is dependent on muscle strength. A regular weight training regimen can be a great way to keep the elderly from accidental falls and reduce the risk of developing mobility problems.
Injury Prevention while Weightlifting
If you are now convinced that lifting free weights has more long-term benefits than risks, you should familiarize yourself with these tips before lifting those irons:
- Use proper form.
- Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the amount you lift.
- Don’t try to lift too much at once.
- Use a spotter when necessary.
- Warm up before lifting and cool down afterward.
- Take breaks as needed.
- Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard.
So, if you’re looking for a way to keep your muscles and bones healthy and strong, free weights are always a great option!