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Weight Loss Tip of the Day

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www.ProHealth.com • April 2, 2003


Using free weights is an excellent way to improve your fitness. You can increase the rate at which you burn calories, increase your muscle strength and size, and increase the strength of your bones. The term “free weight” means the equipment will not restrict movement. Thus, the use of barbells and dumbbells requires more muscular coordination than machines. Because movement is not restricted, the risk of injury is higher than with machines. Precautions must be taken when using free weights. Specifically, ensure you have a good grip, maintain a stable position sitting or standing, use good technique or form, and solicit proper instruction from an exercise professional.

• When picking weights up off the floor (or putting them down), lift with your legs, not your back.

• Most accidents occur when a weight falls on a body part. This happens when a weight plate is not secure on a bar or when a dumbbell falls out of a person’s hand.

• Consider how you intend to use the weights. If you are using the weights for general fitness, you probably do not need a partner to spot for you. If you are buying free weights to increase muscle size, therefore lifting heavy weights, find a training partner to spot you.

• Do not attempt to lift too much weight.

(Source: American College of Sports Medicine)

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