Swinging can really ruin your workouts, and no, I’m not talking about your sex life…I mean swinging the weights!

Obviously for kettlebell workouts, there are times when swinging the weights is part of an exercise, but for things like bicep curls or tricep raises it is basically cheating and will ruin your workout.

We all look for easier ways to get things done to make life that little bit easier, but when it comes to workouts if you cheat you are only cheating yourself.

Many people aren’t even aware they’re doing this though so it’s often unintentional cheating – when you’re lifting weights it’s easy to slip into the habit of using your body to help as you can often find yourself gaining momentum. Although momentum is great for something like running or rowing, it’s actually counterproductive for weight lifting as you won’t be working the intended muscle group as well as you had hoped.

Momentum takes the strain away from lifting the weight as physics takes over and, although you do still have to work to lift the weight, the swinging motion helps loads which basically means it will probably take you longer to get the results you want.

Lifting weights involves two phases: a concentric (shortening) contraction and an eccentric (lengthening) contraction. To give you an example, during a bicep curl the lifting part is the concentric and the lowering part is the eccentric phase. If you want to strengthen your muscles and avoid injury then it’s important to control both of these phases and to use proper form.

Although you will be able to lift heavier weights by using momentum to your advantage, it won’t give you better results. It would actually be more beneficial to lift a slightly lighter weight and not use the swinging motion.

Focus on your form when you’re next working out and if you realise you’re using momentum then simply slow down the lifting process and if necessary, use lighter weights. By lifting the weight slowly you’re ensuring that your muscles are doing all of the work. It also allows you to check that you maintain the correct form throughout.

[bctt tweet=”It’s natural for your body to prefer the easy route, but you’ll only see results if you work hard.”]

If you’ve never tried weight lifting before check out my article on why women should try weight lifting.

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