The Secret of a Better Workout
Don't slouch. Perfect posture is crucial to injury-free and effective strength training. "No matter what exercise you are doing, you want to tuck your hips slightly forward, engage your lower abs, and keep your ribs lifted," says Diane Isaacs, a Los Angeles-based personal trainer and Ironman triathlete. "Not only will this let you work more muscles than the ones you are targeting but it will also give you more stability. When your body is stable, you will be better able to lift the weights with a controlled, fluid motion, rather than a jerky one, which can cause injury."
Also remember to...Take it slowly. Slow movement is the most effective approach because it uses actual muscle movement, not momentum, to move the weight, thus lessening the amount of stress on joints, says Wayne Westcott, the fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA, in Quincy, Massachusetts. Just how slow is slow enough? Westcott recommends taking two seconds to lift the weight and four to lower it.