6 Common Weight Lifting Issues and How to Prevent Them

UK Fitness Pro
UK Fitness Pro
· 4 min read
Woman lifting weights.

Whether you are completing a full body workout or working on a particular problem area, like rounded shoulders, it is important to exercise and lift weights safely and responsibly. 

If you don’t use the proper posture or push yourself too hard,  you could cause more harm than good, and some issues may be irreversible. If you are new to weightlifting or you just need to brush up on the proper safety procedures, we are here to help. 

Below are six common weight-lifting issues and how to prevent them.

1. Skipping the Warmup

Before you engage in any weight-lifting activity, you need to warm up your body properly. If you don’t, then as soon as you start exercising, you could experience cramps, strained muscles, and other forms of pain that could keep you from lifting weights at all until you get better. 

Man lifting weights.

To avoid unnecessary harm, warm up for at least 10 minutes with some light cardio, which could be as simple as a brisk walk. Then do some basic arm and leg stretches so you can work out your body's stiffness before you start.

2. Improper Form

Even if you do warm up, you could still experience strained muscles and cause major harm to your body if you don’t also use the proper form. 

We all want to experience the many benefits of strength training, including a boost to our self-esteem. However, if you use improper form, then it can cause your body to become misaligned and place your joints and muscles in places that can create harmful tears and strains. If you use improper posture for too long, then you can cause irreversible harm and never lift weights again.

Before you lift any serious weights, speak to a trainer, take classes at the gym, or read and watch reputable videos online to see how the pros do it and follow their lead.

3. Acid Reflux

You may not think about acid reflux in connection with lifting weights, but in reality, any activity that requires you to lift heavy objects, hold positions, or bend a certain way can trigger reflux or GERD. 

That is because when you are making jarring movements, it forces stomach acid into your oesophagus, which causes irritation and feelings of burning. Other symptoms of GERD include heartburn, difficulty swallowing, gas and bloating, and bad breath, amongst other issues.The best way to avoid a reflux reaction when weight lifting is to avoid a workout within two hours of eating and drink plenty of water while you exercise to stay hydrated and help with digestion. 

If your condition persists, then a medication like Pepcid may be required.

4. Eye Health

Another weight-lifting issue that you may not consider is the problems that you can cause for your eyes. 

If you are straining to lift a weight or you squint a lot during your exercises, you could put incredible pressure on your eyes, and if you don’t correct your behaviours, it could lead to glaucoma and other ailments that may be hard to reverse. If you lift weights on a recurring basis, then it is essential that you have your eyes checked annually to catch any issues. 

Many weight lifters consider LASIK eye surgery, so they don’t have to mess with contacts or glasses, but if you do get the operation, then you will need to wait at least a few weeks before you lift weights again, so you don’t cause excess strain and eliminate the benefits of your LASIK surgery.

5. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

If you are newer to weight lifting and you go too hard and engage in intense exercises that you have never done before, then you could also experience delayed onset muscle soreness. In other words, your body is getting used to your new routine. While it may hurt, experiencing soreness is typically a positive sign because it means that your muscle is healing to a stronger state than it was previously. 

Woman weight lifting.

To keep the soreness from getting worse, you should generally take it easy during the week or so after a first workout so you can help your body to adjust. You will have limited movement during this time, so be realistic about your next moves. Also, recover properly by stretching, consuming protein, and drinking fluids with electrolytes.

6. Taking on Too Much Weight Too Soon

Similar to delayed muscle soreness is the potential to hurt yourself by taking on too much weight too soon. 

If you try to lift weights that are too heavy, then your form will suffer, which could cause muscle strain or the possibility of dropping the weights. To avoid this issue, ease into weight lifting. If this is your first time, then consider starting without weights and instead do planks and other upper body exercises so you can get used to the movements. Next, move on to 3- to 5-pound dumbbells so you can get into the rhythm. Then, move on from there.

In the end, while weightlifting can be incredibly rewarding, it can also cause great harm if you aren’t careful. Consider these tips, and you will get strong and healthy and stay that way as you advance throughout your fitness journey.

You might also like these articles on the benefits of strength training for runners and strength training for beginners