ImageExercising is a lot like developing new behaviors and getting rid of old ones, in fact movement is behavior. Let me explain before you make a snap judgement: people who quit smoking have to replace the habit of smoking with some kind of new and positive habit. This often goes wrong because a lot of time we will begin to do harmful things like overeating and other bad habits. Also there is a need to pay attention to the things that trigger your habit or pay attention to the details.

Learning how to move better and or have proper form in a movement is the same. When we first begin to move better, we will feel awkward and uncomfortable as a person quitting a bad habit. Also much like the person stopping smoking we will have to pay great attention to detail as we practice our improved or new move.

I feel like this is an important fact to be aware of as we train our movement and bodies. I have seen many people fail at improving and stop an exercise in the middle of a set because “it felt funny” or they thought they were getting injured. In addition to this awareness this fact will mean that you will have to pay attention  your movement as you train and exercise. Good from do not happen by itself but bad from does!

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your movements:

1. Pay attention to the “minor” details- There really is no such thing when it comes to exercise, the little stuff that you may neglect in the pursuit of fitness is oftentimes the stuff that gets you in the long run. “The little foxes destroy the vine” as the saying goes. So if you have even a small bowing in your knee when you work lower body or you don’t “pack” your shoulder on your upper body moves. Be sure that it will bite you in the rear in the long run by hurting you. So fix it, even if ti means you must regress your exercise to learn. However oftentimes it will mean just making the small adjustment, by paying attention to the details.

2. If you can’t figure out something ask a qualified person to help you- This may mean that you have to spend money now, however that will save you in doctor visits and medications. God only know how many times I have paid to get trained by someone with the knowledge that I need or asked a qualified peer to help me. So don’t be too proud to get the help from the right sources, you will be glad that you did!

3. Slow down the tempo of your workout if needed- Rushing through something just to get it done is a mistake and will screw up your movement.  Also you will not be able to make the little changes that are needed to perfect your form. So before you do anything make sure that you go over your mental checklist and once you have made yourself ready, then go. It may be that you have to push out your knees etc, make that happen and get to work.

4. stop before your form breaks down,    A good rule for this is to leave two reps in the tank when you strength train and to think of your workout as a practice session. In other words every training you should learn something and get better. As you leave some reserve you will find your self getting stronger, better and making tremendous progress in your training. Even follow this rule of form and practice as you condition, even though your goals may be to get tired. Form and safety first friend!

Once again this blog post is not exhaustive, but by following these few tips you will be safer and make progress in your training. If you choose to ignore them, you will reap the negative consequences of injury and over-training.  Also you most likely will end up being the guy that is stared at and thought of as dumb. Who wants that? not me! happy trails friends and see you next week, as I rant about life and mostly fitness.

  1. Cranux says:

    Spot on!
    My old Muay Thai instructor always said, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice a move 10,000 times incorrectly, and it will never be perfect. Practice makes habits.”


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