If your strength training workouts don’t make you feel great or, worse, leave you feeling achy or beat up, then you need to change things. Now. Here’s how.
Below you’ll find four tips I use with clients (and myself) who complained that lifting weights didn’t “feel good” or left them feeling achy. Whether you’re an older lifter and want to strength train as safely as possible, you have previous aches and pains you want to alleviate, or you want your workouts to make you feel better and have more energy, give these four tips a try during your next workout.
Tip 1: Slow down your reps.*
This tip is simple to practice but also very effective, especially if you’ve previously experienced discomfort or pain from strength training workouts. Give this a try during your next workout (or even test it now with a set of push-ups) to experience it for yourself.
Slow down your reps by taking approximately 2-3 seconds to perform the lowering portion of the exercise. You don’t need to count, but noticeably slow down your rep performance. Using a push-up as an example, take 2-3 seconds to lower yourself down to the ground.
Then smoothly reverse the motion; do not use momentum or “bounce” back up. Sticking with the push-up example, after you lower yourself down, smoothly reverse the motion and press back up. It may help to add a slight pause in the bottom position to ensure you don’t bounce out of the bottom.
**This article was written by Nia Shanks, and is published on her blog “Lift Like a Girl.” Nia Shanks is a writer and coach, and leader of the Lift Like a Girl revolution. She helps women discover and reach their potential through an empowering approach to health, fitness, and life. niashanks.com