Weight training: Do's and don'ts of proper technique
Effective weight training depends on proper technique. Follow these do's and don'ts to maximize your weight training program.By Mayo Clinic Staff
You don't have to be a bodybuilder or professional athlete to reap the benefits of weight training. When done correctly, weight training can help you lose fat, increase your strength and muscle tone, and improve your bone density. If done incorrectly, however, weight training won't give you these benefits — and may even lead to injury.
Check your technique
You might learn weight training techniques by watching friends or others in the gym, but sometimes what you see isn't safe. Incorrect weight training technique can lead to sprains, strains, fractures and other painful injuries that may hamper your weight training efforts.
If you're just getting started, work with a knowledgeable weight training specialist — a physical therapist, athletic trainer or other fitness specialist who's familiar with proper weight training technique. If you've been using weights for a while, consider scheduling time with a trainer to double check your technique and identify any changes you may need to make.
Aug. 14, 2015
See more In-depth
- Resistance training for health and fitness. American College of Sports Medicine. http://www.acsm.org/access-public-information/brochures-fact-sheets/brochures. Accessed June 24, 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. What strength training recommendations should be given to patients? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. What are the components of a strength training program? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/PAGUIDELINES/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed June 25, 2015.
- Garber CE, et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: Guidance for prescribing exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2011;43:1334.
- Growing stronger — Strength training for older adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/growingstronger/faq/index.html. Accessed July 1, 2015.
- Brown LE, et al. Strength Training. Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics; 2007:279.
- Selecting and effectively using free weights. American College of Sports Medicine. http://www.acsm.org/access-public-information/brochures-fact-sheets/brochures. Accessed June 24, 2015.