Step 1: Orientation

Resistance Training Safety Guidelines

  • Wear appropriate clothing.
  • Train with a partner or spotter whenever possible. A training partner provides motivation, feedback on technique, and assistance during exercise. A spotter is required whenever using free weights.

work with a spotter

Working with a spotter

  • Warm-up properly before doing any resistance training. Begin with 5-10 minutes of a low intensity aerobic activity. (Examples: running, cycling, walking...) Static stretching - hold a gentle stretch for 20 to 30 seconds without bouncing. Performing a warm-up set with very light weight is recommended.
  • Practice good mechanics. Most technique problems start with too much weight. If you do not know how to perform an exercise ask the instructor to demonstrate the correct technique.
  • Choose the weight carefully. It is better to be conservative and start light. Master the proper technique before increasing the resistance. Proper technique is particularly important when lifting free weights.
  • Avoid using an overly wide grip.
  • Finish each repetition. Each exercise should move through the primary joint's full range of motion.
  • When using a barbell, lock the weight plate in place with a collar.

use a proper grip

Use a proper grip.

plate locked with collar


Plate locked in place with a collar.

  • Breathe continuously throughout the exercise. Exhale during the concentric (lifting) muscle contraction and inhale during the eccentric contraction (lowering). Blood pressure can increase to dangerous levels if you hold your breath during weight training.
  • Maintain good posture. No matter the exercise, keep a neutral spine position by pulling the navel towards the spine.
  • Lift in a smooth and controlled manner. Bouncing the weight, squirming, jerking, rocking or angling the body to gain a leverage advantage is very dangerous and often leads to injury.
  • Use common sense. If you suspect that you have injured yourself stop immediately.

maintain good posture

Maintain good posture.

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