Give 'em a lift
You hike to the gym, plop down your water bottle and kick it into gear. But are you doing weight-lifting exercises properly?
Linde Sifuentes, worksite wellness coordinator for the Mayo Clinic Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center in Rochester, offered proper weight-lifting tips.
Weight-lifters should avoid using too much weight, keep it slow and simple for most exercise instead of trying to speed through them and remember to breath, Sifuentes said.
"As long as an exercise is done safely and correctly it should be fine to do, unless the exercise is causing pain and discomfort (other than muscle fatigue)," Sifuentes said. If that happens, stop immediately.
"The best thing to remember is, if you don’t know what you are doing, don't attempt to do it until you have met with a certified instructor to learn the proper technique to avoid injuring yourself," Sifuentes said.
Dumbbell pullovers– Lie (facing up) on a flat bench so shoulders, upper back and buttock are touching pad of the bench and feet are flat on floor. Grasp one dumbbell from behind or from side with both hands under inner plate of dumbbell. Position over chest and keep elbows bent slightly throughout exercise. Lower dumbbell over and beyond head until upper arms are parallel to torso. Return and repeat.
Biceps curl— Grasp dumbbells with a closed, (hands-facing-up) grip with dumbbells at side of body. Stand tall with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Flex elbow to move dumbbell in an upward arc toward the shoulders. Continue flexing elbow until dumbbells are 4 to 6 inches of shoulders. Slowly lower weight back down to the starting position.
Pull-ups— Grasp bar with a closed, (hands-facing-down) grip wider than shoulder-width and pull your body up toward bar so your elbows move down and back and chest up and out until the bar touches your collar bones. Slowly lower yourself down so elbows extend back to starting position.
Leg pressSit in machine with back, hips, and buttocks pressed against pads. Place feet on platform so they are hip width apart with toes pointed toward ceiling and toes higher than knees. Grasp handles on side of the machine. Extend hips and knees to push platform forward or, if seat moves, push so seat travels away from platform. Do not lock the knees. Slowly return to starting position but do not come to a full rest until finished with all repetitions.
Exercise-ball core strengthening Lie (facing up) on the ball with lower-to-middle back on the apex of ball. Feet flat on the floor about hip width apart and parallel to the floor. Fold arms across the chest or place hands behind head (only to hold its weight). Curl the torso to raise it 30 to 40 degrees from starting position. After completing the crunch, allow torso to return to starting position.
Pec butterflies Sit in machine with head, back, hips and buttocks pressed against pads. If seat is adjustable, move it up or down so thighs are parallel to floor with feet flat on floor and position arms parallel with floor and even with breast bone. Grasp handles with a closed, palm-facing-downward grip with elbows slightly bent, and pull handles together by squeezing pectoral muscles together, with hands meeting out in front of chest. Slowly return handles back to where arms are perpendicular to the body.