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If you’re wondering, “How can I step up my workout game?,” learning (or remembering) how to lift weights the right way may be the perfect solution. The benefits are seemingly endless, from reduced risk for diabetes to improved bone density, but in order to reap these benefits, you’ve got to know the do’s and don’ts of weight lifting. Here are five tips and pointers to help you get started.

1. Warm up your muscles. Always.

When you leave for work in the morning, you don’t just jump in the car and go, right? If you’re anything like me, you let your car warm up for a little while before driving off, especially in the winter. Well, the same concept applies to your muscles. Warming up before hitting the gym is essential for two main reasons: It enhances your performance and it prevents injuries. To help get the heart rate going and the blood flowing, set aside at least 15-20 minutes to warm up, which should consist of stretching, doing lunges and squats and light jogging, just to name a few. The key is to gradually increase in intensity.

2. Don’t rush through reps.

Lifting weights is not a race! To effectively build muscle mass, use slow and steady movements.

5 Weight Lifting Basics You Shouldn’t Skip was originally published on blackdoctor.org

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