Tackling common weightlifting mistakes

If the Tokyo Olympics have inspired you to explore the weights area in your local gym, there are some important do’s and don’ts to follow, to prevent any pains and injuries from getting between you and your weightlifting goals. John Williamson, Chiropractor and member of the British Chiropractic Association, shares his advice. 


Do’s and Don’ts in weightlifting


  • Practice, practice, practice: More often than not in weightlifting, injuries are as a result of poor technique, so it’s important to perfect your technique on lighter weights before you move on the heavy ones.
  • Ease your yourself into training: Starting off slowly is key when you enter the world of weightlifting. Many inexperienced athletes injure themselves by adding long training sessions into their routines. Instead, start off with shorter training sessions and build up as your experience grows.
  • Break the movements down: Adding technology is a great way to track your form, technique and development. Many elite athletes use video analysis software to track their progression. This can also help you to visually identify any bad techniques that are in your routines.
  • Check your equipment: Injuries caused by bad equipment are just as common as injuries as a result of bad technique. Weightlifters rely heavily on their equipment so it’s important to check that your bars and platforms are safe and secure before undertaking any activity.


  • It’s all about the power: It’s a common misconception that weightlifting is all about the number of reps. Aiming for the highest reps possible can cause your movement to become muscle-based rather than power-based, and lead to both bad technique and ultimately injury.
  • Don’t start off with heavy weights: Don’t try to lift too much, too soon. Start off with shorter training sessions and build on these as your experience grows to avoid overloading your body and causing injuries.
  • It’s not all about accessories – As weightlifting has become more popular, many taking up the sport feel that to be successful they need to use accessories. This can actually lead to an over reliance on accessories such as belts and make you believe that you are stronger than you are. Instead, try to reduce your reliance on extra accessories and really listen to your body, to avoid lifting too much too soon.