Instructions on Lifting Weights

BASIC EXERCISES

SQUATS

  • Stand before a bar set on a rack at about chest height, grasping a barbell with palms down.
  • Place the barbell behind and below your neck and evenly across your trapezius muscles andshoulders.
  • Your back should be straight, your feet hip-width apart with toes pointed slightly outward.
  • Your knees should be slightly bent and your back should have a slight forward lean.
  • Squat down keeping your shins close to perpendicular to the floor until your thighs are approximately parallel to the floor.
  • You should be looking upwards, your upper torso slightly leaned forward and your lower back slightly curved inward or straight.
  • Now stand up to the starting position forcing your hips in and your head up.
Notes

  • Don't allow your back to hunch over at any time. Try to keep good posture with your upper back straight and your lower back slightly arched.
  • Don't allow your knees to move farther forward than your toes. This increases the risk of a knee injury and throws of posture.
  • Don't squat down farther than your quadriceps being parallel to the floor. Don't bounce or jerk your body in an attempt to gain momentum.Always move in a very
  • slow, controlled manner.
DEAD LIFT

  • Place the barbell on the floor in front of you.
  • Place your feet approximately shoulder width apart.
  • Bend down and grasp the bar, with palms down, just outside of your knees.
  • Keep your knees bent, back straight, and head up at all times.
  • Using your legs and back, stand up until legs, back, and arms are straight. Keep your head up and abdominals tight while standing.
  • Keeping your back straight, slowly return to the beginning position in a controlled manner.
Notes

  • Don't let your back hunch over as you stand up. Be sure to keep your head up and back straight while lifting with your legs and back.
  • Don't jerk the weight up or use momentum when lifting the weight. Always use slow, controlled lifting movements.
  • Don't increase the weight until you have developed good habits and are using proper form.
  • Always start out using light weights.
BENCH PRESS

  • Lie on a bench.
  • With your back flat on the bench, grip the barbell with palms facing up and about 8-12 inches wider than shoulder-width.
  • Lift the barbell off the rack to the starting position, which is straight above your face, your arms extended fully.
  • Slowly lower the barbell until it touches the lower edge of your chest.
  • Your elbows should be pointed out while the rest of your body remains in position.
  • Slowly raise (push) the barbell to the starting position while flexing (squeezing together) your chest.
Notes

  • Don't arch your back or bounce the bar off your chest. Let the bar down slowly resisting the weight.
DIPS

  • Raise yourself off the ground and onto parallel dip bars.
  • Your hands should be gripping the bar handles with your fingers on the outside, facing away from your body.
  • Keep your elbows close to your sides and your knees barely in front of you, slightly bent.
  • Slowly lower yourself down to the point where your upper arms (shoulder to elbow) are parallel to the floor or until your lower chest is as low as your hands.
  • Raise (push) your body up to the starting position. Hold for a brief second flexing (squeezing) your chest.
Notes

  • Don't allow your body to swing around and don't simply drop your body down. Resist your bodyweight and lower yourself in a slow, controlled manner.
BARBELL ROWS

  • Place a barbell on the floor in front of you.
  • Position your feet so that they are about hip-width apart.
  • Bend over and grasp the bar with hands about 6-8 inches wider than shoulders, palms facing down.
  • Stand bent over at the waist with back straight, legs bent.
  • Keeping your back straight, pull the barbell in towards your body while squeezing shoulder blades together so the bar is touching your lower chest.
  • Your elbows should be pointing up towards the ceiling.
  • Return to the starting position in a slow, controlled manner.
Notes

  • Don't move your back up or down in effort to lift the weight. Keep your back parallel to the floor and pull the weight up with your back by squeezing your shoulder blades together.
PULL-UPS

  • Use a chinning bar about 6 inches higher off the floor than you can reach with arms extended overhead.
  • Hold bar with hands approximately 30 inches apart (8 inches wider than shoulders).
  • Pull up by squeezing shoulder blades together and trying to touch chin to the bar.
  • Return to starting position in a slow, controlled manner.
Notes

  • Don't swing back and forth or try to create momentum by kicking legs. You may need a partner to help you prevent from swinging or using momentum.
  • Don't sacrifice form by trying to complete more repetitions than you can do with proper technique.
OVER HEAD PRESS

  • Stand or sit at an upright (90 degree angle) bench with feet firmly on the ground.
  • Hold a barbell across the front of your shoulders with palms facing out, hands about six inches farther than shoulder-width apart and elbows pointing down.
  • Your back should be straight resting against the back of the bench, with shoulders back and chest out.
  • Press (lift) the barbell above your head until your arms are fully extended, without locking your elbows.
  • Lower the weight in a slow, controlled manner back to the starting position.
Notes

  • Don't rock or sway your body to gain momentum.
  • Don't bounce the weight off your neck and shoulders in an attempt to complete the lift.
  • Don't just let the weight drop. Slowly lower the weight in a controlled manner.
TRICEP EXTENSION

  • Sit on a chair or 90 degree angle bench, head up, back straight, feet firmly on the floor.
  • Hold one dumbbell (vertical to floor) with both hands overhead.
  • Keeping your upper arms in place, slowly lower dumbbell straight down behind head, as low as you can naturally go.
  • Keeping elbows at one fixed point.
  • Raise the dumbbell upward over your head until arms are extended, rotating your hands up and over until the top plates are resting in palms of hands, thumbs around handle.
  • Lower the dumbbell behind your head in a slow, controlled manner.
  • Try to keep your elbows at the same fixed point throughout the lifting and lowering motion and keep upper arms (from shoulders to elbows) close to sides at all times.
Notes

  • Don't hold the dumbbell so that the dumbbell changes the angle of motion. Keep the dumbbell so that it is vertical throughout the lifting and lowering motion. When lifting and lowering the dumbbell try not to sway or arch your back.
  • Don't allow your upper arms to move. Keep your elbows at a "fixed-point" throughout the exercise.
  • Don't just let the weight drop behind your head. Slowly lower the weight so that you are resisting the weights downward force.
CURL

  • Stand with back straight, knees unlocked, feet hip-width apart, and grip a barbell with an underhand grip (palms facing up), with your hands placed just outside of your hips.
  • Your arms should be extended straight down and the barbell should be on your upper thighs. Keeping your elbows close to your body, use your biceps to curl the bar up to your chest.
  • Hold for a brief second flexing your biceps.
  • Lower the barbell to the starting position in a slow, controlled manner.
  • Keep your wrists straight and elbows at your side throughout the exercise.
Notes

  • Don't sway your back or rock your body in an attempt to complete the lift.
  • Don't let your elbows leave your sides.
  • Don't just let the barbell drop when lowering it. Let the barbell down slowly resisting the weight of the barbell.
CALF RAISES

  • Hold a dumbbell in one hand (same side as calf being worked) hanging down at side, palm in.
  • Place the ball of one foot on the edge of a raised object, letting your heel and arch extend off the object stretching as far down as possible.
  • Hold on to a machine, wall, etc. with free hand and keep back straight, head up, and leg locked.
  • Put other foot next to or behind leg being trained.
  • Raise up on toe as high as possible and hold for a quick second while flexing the calf muscle.
  • Return to the starting position in a slow, controlled manner.
Notes

  • Don't let hips move backward or forward and don't bend at knee causing momentum.
  • Don't shorten the height that you raise up. Be sure to rise up as high as possible and flex your calf.
CRUNCHES

  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet together flat on the floor and about 10-15 inches from your buttocks.
  • Your hands should either be crossed on your chest, by your side, or cupped behind your ears.
  • Without moving your lower body, curl your upper torso up and in toward your knees, until your shoulder blades are as high off the ground as you can get them. Only your shoulder blades should lift--not your back.
  • As you come to the highest point tighten and flex your abdominals for a brief second.
  • Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.
Notes

  • Don't jerk yourself up to achieve the exercise. Slowly bring yourself up using your abdominals only.
  • Don't let your lower back raise off the floor. Go as far up as you feel your abdominals become tight and hold for a brief second.
  • Don't move quickly. You must do this exercise very slowly and resist on the way back.

ISOLATION EXERCISES

BACK EXTENSIONS

  • Position yourself in a back extension machine, ankles locked behind the pads, groin area and upper thighs resting on padded platform.
  • The top of your hips should be over the edge of the platform, your back should be parallel to the floor.
  • Fold your arms across your chest.
  • Bend over at the waist, with your upper torso lowered to the point where it is just a few inches above being perpendicular to the floor.
  • Raise up to the starting position and hold for a brief second.
  • Lower yourself slowly and repeat.
Notes

  • Don't just go through the motions swinging up and down. Move in a slow, controlled manner.
LEG EXTENSIONS

  • Sit in a leg extension machine with your legs behind the roller pads and your hands grasping the machines handles or the sides of the bench.
  • Your knees should be bent at 90 and have the seat or bench against the back of your knees with your toes pointing in front of you.
  • Slowly extend (lift) your legs by raising your lower leg and contracting your quadriceps until they are almost straight out in front of you, without locking your knees at full extension.
  • Hold that position for a split second while flexing your quadriceps.
  • Return to starting position slowly, in a controlled manner.
Notes

  • Don't lock your knees at full extension.
  • Don't jerk the weight up.
  • Don't let the roller pad just drop down, be sure to let the weight down slowly.
LEG CURL

  • Lie face down on a leg curl machine with your knees just below or off the bench of the machine and your Achilles Tendon (below calf/above heel) hooked behind the roller pads.
  • Your legs should be fully extended with some natural flex at the knees, and your toes should be pointing down.
  • Reach and hold on as far forward as possible so that your lower back is unable to arch.
  • Keeping your pelvis flat against the bench, raise your heels up toward your buttocks so that your legs bend to about a 90 degree angle and hold for a brief second while contracting (flexing) your hamstrings.
  • Return to the starting position in a slow, controlled manner.
Notes

  • Don't let your back or pelvis rise from the bench in an arch. If you notice your back or pelvis is rising from the bench try placing a small pillow under your pelvis and grab as far forward as possible.
  • Don't swing the weight up using momentum.
  • Don't drop the weight down. Use a slow controlled motion.
FLYS

  • Lie on your back on a bench with your legs parted and feet firmly on the floor.
  • Hold two dumbbells above you, palms facing each other with your arms extended and slightly bent.
  • The dumbbells should be nearly touching each other above your chest.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells out and away from each other in a semicircular motion, until they are at chest level. Keep your elbows bent and wrists locked straight.
  • Raise back up to the starting position, keeping elbows bent and back straight.
Notes

  • Don't let your hands turn away from facing each other.
  • Don't let your elbows become straight or bend greater than a 45 degree angle.
  • Don't let the weights just drop down. Resist the downward force by lowering the dumbbells in a slow, controlled manner.
LATERAL RAISE

  • Stand upright, arms at your sides, holding a dumbbell in each hand, with palms facing toward body and elbows slightly bent.
  • Your feet should be about hip-width apart.
  • Keep your shoulders back, chest out and back straight with a slight forward lean.
  • Raise both dumbbells outward, away from your sides until they are slightly above shoulder level, hold for a brief second. Your palms should be facing the floor and you should have a slight bend in the elbows.
  • Return to the starting position in a slow, controlled manner.
Notes

  • Don't use such heavy weights that you can't use good, proper form. The weights for this exercise should be light.
  • Don't swing the weights up and then merely drop them down to the starting position. Move in a slow, controlled manner.

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