I believe that first of all people should work out in order to improve their health. Naturally, improving their physical well-being will also reflect on the state of their mind, thus improving their mental health as well. A very important aspect, if not the most important, is the exercise technique.
What is the problem?
Many people desire to have results as fast as possible. (Un)fortunately, human body is a very complex package and it takes a lot of energy, effort and time to achieve positive long-lasting changes. Building solid muscle mass requires a lot of time. This is a fact. That’s why it is crucial to focus on Progress, a component of step-by-step improvement. On the other hand, it is much easier to pick up an injury which will set you back from your Progress due to prolonged time to recover that it may need. Injuries are generally a mixture of factors involved, however an improper technique plays the bigger role. Also overdoing on weights that a person is not fit for, but this results in not being able to keep the correct technique. So we are back to incorrect technique.
When cooking you also try to comply with technique, otherwise you can ruin your meal. Why treat your exercises differently?
What is technique?
Technique means that you are able to target muscles you desire without misusing other muscle parts that are not intended to be engaged in that type of movement. Misusing unintended muscles is as easy as applying incorrect stance for the exercise that will engage different muscles that trainee wants to activate. Many times it happens that muscles you are actually targeting work less than muscles that are just helping to perform the movement. Typically, muscles that are overloaded from everyday routine (and therefore are more powerful) are engaged in such movements because muscles that are weakened are not able to handle the weight. As an outcome you are further overloading those muscles.
Moreover, there are multiple ways that a single exercise can be done. For instance, with legpress it depends which foot-stance you choose and as a consequence different fibers of Musculus Quadriceps Femoris are activated. Thus, not always there is just a single correct method to carry out a movement.
What are the drawbacks & benefits of correct technique?
If there are any drawbacks of appropriate technique, most probably it only is that to others you may look weak due to the fact that you are not lifting enormous weights. But fuck it. You are not lifting to look strong in front of others, you are doing it for your own sake, for your health’s sake.
However, there are various benefits from having adequate technique such as:
- it lowers the impact that exercising has on your muscle inequality, i.e. improves your overall body-muscle balance (for example, muscle imbalances can cause severe joint pain)
- helps you to target a single muscle from multiple angles, i.e. builds healthier, better-functional muscle
- proper activation of muscles which enhances results in the long run
- prevents injuries
How do I know what is proper?
Sadly, majority of people is not educated sufficiently and does not know the principles of healthy exercising. They just mimic what they see in the gym, in the Internet, etc. With enormous amount of information everywhere it is important to question the sources. It is important to be interested and study as much as possible. Look for different trustworthy sources, look for diverse information, try what you learned and pay attention to how it feels on your body. you shouldn’t feel too much tension in parts that you are not targeting.
2 most common mistakes
In general there are two most common things people do that I often see in the gym.
- Head protraction/leaning back (incorrect head posture) – commonly happens with shoulder exercises, biceps curls, triceps pushdowns..
- Lower back (lumbar spine) inner-over-bending – commonly happens with lat pulldown, benchpress, biceps/triceps exercises, butt exercises..
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