The weight room can be a daunting place, especially for beginners. There are lean muscular people in every direction working hard and seemingly eyeing you up. But there’s a secret to the weight room culture — nobody cares. Everyone checks their ego at the door because they know that they were a beginner once, too.
You might look across the room to see a muscular person lifting an extraordinary amount of weight. Do not try to imitate them. Lifting more weight than you’re capable of can cause injury and performing lifts without proper technique will not give you 100% of the benefit of the exercise. And you will definitely not perform the proper technique trying to lift too much weight.
It is imperative to start slow, learn the proper technique and build on your experience as time goes by. Here’s why:
Front Vs Back Squat
You do not have to look any further for the benefits proper lifting technique then front versus back squats. It does not take a weightlifting veteran to see that a person can lift more weight during a back squat versus a front squat.
In the front squat, the weight is loaded onto the front shoulders and must be stabilized with the core. This throws your center of balance off preventing you from lifting a maximum amount of weight. The back squat simply requires you to put a bar on the back of your shoulders, squat down, grunt and then rise up through your heels.
But here’s the crazy thing — both the front and back squat activate the same amount of muscle. That’s right, both of these exercises increase your leg strength the same amount despite the staggering differences in the amount of weight you can lift. Perform a front squat with proper technique and you’ll get massively strong legs while reducing the stress on your body due to the lower weight lifted.
This goes to show you the sheer amount of weight lifted does not equal the benefit. And that is the mantra of weightlifters who are committed to proper technique.
One of the less talked about benefits of proper weight lifting technique is reduced overuse injury. Obviously, proper technique will allow you to avoid acute injury, such as sprains, muscle tears, and ligament damage. Acute injuries happen all at once, while overuse injuries, such as tendinitis, accumulate over a long period of time.
You may be hurting yourself with improper technique and not even knowing it. By putting undo stress on different parts of your body, you may be slowly attenuating ligaments, pulling on dense bone to form bone spurs, or setting yourself up for arthritis in the future. The injuries that improper technique cause are not always visible.