When training, it is paramount to use the proper technique for all exercises, if you haven’t been physically shown how to do an exercise then do not attempt it. Doing exercises with poor technique can lead to a plethora of injuries and might inhibit what goals you wish to achieve. An injury can set you back a week, month or year that could have been spent in the gym doing the exercises correctly and achieving goals. It is hard to gauge if you are using proper technique when exercising by yourself so start off with someone who knows what they are doing. This will build your own body awareness and also make sure you build the correct base to make your physical improvements. Below are a few key things can help you preform your the exercises with proper technique.
1) Use a weight that you are comfortable with
Do not start off by lifting heavy because you will often overcompensate and build a physical foundation that is not desirable. By this I mean you might put one muscle in atrophy while over-compensating in other areas, leading to poor alignment and posture. To ensure that your weight is correct use a warm up set on a weight that is considerably lighter then you think you can do. From there increase the weight whilst maintaining proper technique. When your technique starts to compromise to preform an exercise with a heaver weight drop it back down to something more attainable.
2)Core Is Key
Most people who first step into the gym and some who have been in the gym for years have an under-developed mid section. I recommend when starting at the gym you should work on building your core/foundational muscles first. These include your bigger muscles like your Gluteus Maximus and abdominal structure. Isometric holds like a prone bridge and side bridge are a good place to start.
3) Things to remember
Keep your chest up by contracting your abdominals. A straight back is pretty much essential for all exercises minus some advanced variations, which will be covered in more depth in a later post.
4) Know your target muscles for each exercise
It is important to know each muscle that are your prime movers for each particular exercise. Once you know this, you will be able to identify if you need to alter your technique to target the correct muscles more effectively.
5) Use the Mirror
……….No not to check yourself out silly, there is a reason that gyms are packed with mirrors not just for the big dudes that enjoy the during workout tense. Mirrors are a great tool to assist you in making sure you are using the correct technique.
This is a basic outline of technique stay tuned for a more in-depth analysis of which muscles you should use for each exercise. Click on the training tips tab above for a progressive break down of the technique for particular exercises. Ideally if you are unsure of proper technique you should do a one-on-one session to avoid injury and prevent developing bad habits in the gym. If you think you might benefit from someone demonstrating proper technique click on the train link above.