From Denise Austin
Hit the Weights the Right Way
Strength training — lifting weights — is important to building a strong, fit body. Lifting weights helps you tone your limbs and build muscle, and it's great for your bones and your metabolism. But when it comes to lifting weights, form is key! Using equipment incorrectly can cause pain and injury, and at the very least, your routine can lose some of its effectiveness.
To make sure you lift weights — whether in the weight room or at home — the right way, keep these simple tips in mind:
* Stand with your feet separated, one slightly in front of the other.
* Bring the weight as close to your body as possible before you lift.
* Bend at your knees to pick the weight up, and use your leg muscles to hoist it, not your back.
* As you lift and lower, keep your movements slow and smooth — don't jerk the weight to lift it!
* Stand tall — don't let the weight cause you to slump over.
* If a weight is too heavy, switch to a lighter weight and work your way up!
If you keep these tips in mind, your heavy lifting won't lead to a pain in the neck (or anywhere else!).