Skip Nav
Popsugar Interviews
How Do You Lose Weight With Jenny Craig? A Dietitian Explains
Healthy Eating Tips
Nutritionists Reveal What to Eat at Lunchtime to Lose Weight
Beginner Fitness Tips
How to Run More Than a Mile Without Feeling Like You're Dying

Lifting Tip: Relax the Muscles That Aren't Working

Lifting Tip: Relax the Muscles That Aren't Working

When I see people strength training at the gym, and working hard to lift a heavy weight or do those last few strenuous reps, it's hard not to notice their face scrunching up. If this sounds like you, the next time you lift, remember to relax the muscles that aren't involved in the exercise. It's the muscles in the face, neck, and shoulders that are most often engaged when they don't need to be. Tensing your jaw or shrugging your shoulders up to your ears won't make you any stronger. If you're working that hard that you can't help engage other parts of your body, then maybe the exercise you're doing is too difficult for your ability, or the weight you're lifting is too heavy. It may not seem like a big deal, but it all relates to having improper form, and that can lead to injury, which is a huge deal.

To make sure you're keeping your body relaxed except for the muscles you're targeting, ask a friend to watch you or look at yourself in a mirror.

Join The Conversation
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
LOL my upper lip curls up on one side with some lifts too.. totally involuntary though - so funny! breathing properly during the exertion of a lift helps you stay focused on the muscles you're working, and helps keep the rest of you relaxed, it also helps give you the strength to be able to do the lift.
imLissy imLissy 7 years
omg retro23, I was just going to comment and say the exact same thing, lol
Retro23 Retro23 7 years
I can't for the life of me keep my upper lips from curling up when I do lateral free weight raises! so embarassing haha.
David Kirsch Workout Tips
How to Become Stronger
Printable Workout: 30 Minutes Cardio and Strength Training
When to Use Light and Heavy Weights
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds