Don’t be afraid of an exercise, be afraid of poor technique

Dec 19 2017, 4:53 am

A couple weeks ago I had the great fortune to attend the Rings One (gymnastics rings) seminar being taught by the team from Gold Medal Bodies; big thanks to Shane from Gymnos Evolution for organizing and hosting the event. The seminar reinforced some great strength training concepts while using a tool that was brand new to me. Finding different methods and tools is a great motivating factor for me to get out there and keep learning about strength from a variety of sources! I’d like to share the three major points that stuck out during the seminar.

The Tighter the Lighter! The idea behind this cue is that the better you are at putting tension throughout your entire body the stronger you will be. This is a great cue for any exercise that requires you to keep your body in a straight line: plank, pushup, inverted rows, pullups, standing presses, etc. Using the pushup as an example, if you can keep your entire body in a straight line it is much easier for you to lower your body towards the floor. If you aren’t able to keep this straight line position, let’s say your hips sag, you will notice that it is much more difficult to lower your body towards the floor. When you lose this straight line position during a pushup you become less efficient at moving your body up and down, meaning you won’t be able to do as many and may even injure yourself.
Structure. This goes hand in hand with tighter the lighter, when you are able to put tension throughout your entire body you are realigning your body to put structures (bones) on top of each other. You are likely reading this post leaned over your computer and that position is putting your vertebra and scapula out of position, and the more this happens the harder it is to put these structures back where they belong. Again think back to the pushup and specifically the top position, ideally your shoulders should be in the same vertical plane as you hands, which stacks bones directly on top of each other. If your shoulders aren’t directly over top of your hands you will most likely feel pressure/weakness/pain somewhere between your fingertips and your shoulders. Again this will cause you to be less efficient in your movement meaning you won’t do as many reps and risk injury.

One Perfect Rep. Throughout the seminar we were only asked to perform movements if we could do them without compromising technique, meaning if we were using the rings to do a pushup and we couldn`t maintain tighter the lighter and structure at the halfway point than the halfway point was as far as the pushup went. There is no need to be a hero and bang out a bunch of reps with less than perfect form, doing this will just sacrifice your ability to do more reps in the future.

I often hear people say they are afraid of an exercise or a piece of equipment or a heavy load for fear that they might injure themselves. This is a fair statement, no one wants to get injured. However it isn’t the exercise/equipment/heavy load that is causing the injury it is the use of poor or improper technique that is going to cause an injury. During the seminar we had progressed to attempting an exercise called a shoulder stand; inverted body suspended in mid air, and because I couldn’t quite hold a position well enough before inverting my body I didn’t attempt this exercise. I walked away from the seminar without any injuries and was able to play a lacrosse game right after. It is possible that if I would have attempted the shoulder stand I may have injured myself and missed my lacrosse game and future training sessions… which would have put me further from reaching my goals. StayFitAnywhere’s Building Blocks program focuses on teaching you to use your body as efficiently as possible so that you can train more while staying injury free, contact me for a free fitness assessment and start training your body to be tighter and lighter today!

Don’t be afraid of an exercise/equipment/heavy load, be afraid of poor technique.

Josh Neumann, BHK, PTS, TSCC-1
[email protected]


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