Here are some free bodybuilding tips for those of you who are going to be doing some weight lifting at the gym:
1. Never break form; if you can’t do any more repetitions, just stop. People breaking form to get more repetitions is the number one reason people get injured. Not only that, when you do an exercise with improper form, it is no longer effective. You are only cheating yourself. Do the full range of the exercise in correct form to ensure you get the most from your workout. This is the most important bodybuilding tip of all of them.
2. As a general rule, whenever you are doing an exercise, try to keep correct posture. With these exercises, it is extra important, since these exercises are the ones focused on developing correct posture. Make sure the rest of your body is in a comfortable position as well (feet flat on the floor, chair at a comfortable height, etc.)
3. When exerting yourself, breath out. When preparing for the next repetition, breath in.
4. Don’t rush through the exercises or try to get through them quickly. Do them at a controlled pace, focusing on correct form.
5. The ideal amount of repetitions are between 12 and 15, three sets total. It is especially important that you aren’t trying for more weight than you can handle. Your primary focus should be on keeping correct form, and after a while you will develop muscle memory, and it will become more automatic. Once you become comfortable with the exercises and have developed good muscle memory (at least two months), you will start to get a good feel for what weight level is good for you, and whether you should start going for more weight.
6. This tip is hard to explain, but once you are at the gym and start lifting, you’ll understand what I am saying. A lot of back exercises use your arms as a secondary muscle (specifically, your biceps). The goal is to get the focus on the back muscles, so when you do these exercises, try to pretend your arms are an extension of your back. In other words, flex and focus on your back, while pretending your arms are merely levers to get the job done. This is one of the main mistakes a lot of beginners make, and they end up working out their arms more than their back (although you will develop some nice biceps!).
7. Always do the same number of repetitions on each side of your body. If you do six bicep curls with one arm, only do six bicep curls with the other (even if you can do more). Most people have a side of their body that is stronger than the other, and if you always work out both sides of your body unevenly, they will never even out and you will start to look funny over time! A good trick to do this is to always start with your weaker side, since the other side will always be able to match the number of repetitions.
8. Last but not least of my bodybuilder tips, do a warm-up! Nothing makes less sense than starting to lift weights out of the blue. Do some jumping jacks, run on the treadmill, do some shadow boxing, or other warm-up exercises for at least 10 minutes. Some people are very big on stretching, but there is a lot of controversy over how effective stretching really is, and some even believe it does more harm than good. I’m not going to recommend one over the other (and personally I never stretch), but I will say ALWAYS WARM UP!!!
These tips are applicable to ALL of the most important exercises when trying to develop correct posture: the lat pull down, pull up, seated row, shoulder shrugs, and back extension.
Those are all my tips on bodybuilding. Keep them in mind when you are doing your posture exercises, and you will be well on your way to correct posture and no more back pain! These tips will help you with any goal you may have, whether you are doing exercises to lose weight or to gain muscle mass.