So here’s an irony alert: Weight-bearing exercises can actually help prevent injuries by strengthening muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments.
Weight-bearing exercise, also called strength training, builds muscle in different ways than cardiovascular exercise, which helps us maintain balance and flexibility as we age. As a result, we not only reduce our risk for falls, but we are less likely to fracture an ankle, or worse, a hip, if we do fall.
Studies show that when strength training is done correctly, it also can reduce lower back injuries and prevent stress fractures caused by high impact activities like running.
To figure out if you’re using the right amount of weight and the right number of repetitions to get the most from your workout, while avoiding injury, consider these questions:
1. Can you do two full sets of 10 repetitions with proper form? If not, then reduce the amount of weight you’re using in your routine.
2. How do you feel after finishing one set of 10 repetitions? If you’re ready to rest for a minute or so, you’re on the right track. If you could keep on going (maybe not for another set of 10, but for a few more), try adding more weight to your second set of repetitions.
3. Can you knock out two full sets without a problem? If so, you’re ready to up the weights for the entire workout.