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  1. You are using parts of your body that should not be involved in the lift; for example, shrugging your shoulders or arching your back when performing a curl.
  2. The muscle or muscles you’re targeting are not being fully stressed (i.e. when you move through a full movement range, you only feel stress at some points).
  3. You’re putting more stress on your joints than you are on the muscles you’re trying to work.
  4. You can hear weights rattling or clanging (or hear the moving parts on a machine).
  5. You’re consistently holding your breath, feeling stress on your shoulders or arching your back.
  6. You’re losing your balance or finding it hard to stabilize muscles and joints (for example, you’re lifting your elbows when doing a seated curl on a machine).
  7. Your movements are not always fluid and performed with full control.

This was excerpted from “How to Pace Yourself When Lifting Weights” which was published in the March 2004 issue of Experience Life magazine.

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