For most of you staying healthy and active isn't always the easiest of things to do as there are always lots of things going on. However, when I was at the gym last night working out I couldn't help but think that all of you that spend money a month on a gym membership NEED to be doing the correct exercises to make it worth it. Makes sense right? Well, in order to make this happen you have to make the most out of every exercise in order for your body to adapt and change. Again it sounds obvious doesn't it, but what I am getting at is that I see all too often techniques for exercises in the gym that need changing.
A common mistake I see is the exercise isn't being controlled properly. Last night I saw a female gym user on the leg press performing repetitions at a reasonable weight, this was great to see and I really respect all females that attend the gym and workout. When I analysed the exercise further I could see there was a major flaw in the exercise she was performing. Whilst performing the leg press, the press itself was great, it was explosive and she showed good form. On the eccentric phase of the exercise (the lowering of the weight) to return to its start point, she didn't have the control to slow it properly and the weights hit against the barrier of the machine. This defeats the object of performing the leg press and she would have only been using 50% strength. Why? Because when you allow the weights to ricochet off the barrier of the machine you are gaining momentum to push the weight. When this happens it takes the effort away from your leg muscles and I want you to think about the first statement I made at the start of this, are you making the most of each and every workout by performing the exercises correctly?
The leg press isn't the only exercise where I will see this happen. Deadlifts are a common exercise where lifters will bang the bar on the floor on the eccentric phase of the exercise to gain extra momentum to lift the weight. The name Deadlift speaks for itself. The weight should be 'dead' upon lifting it. This means when performing this exercise you need to make sure the bar is dead on the ground each time you lift it. If you are lifting the bar with extra help from banging it against the floor then you aren't performing the exercise properly. The result of this is that you won't change and develop your body and when this happens you will start to lose interest because you won't see the results you want.
There are other exercises where I see the same thing, but I think you get the message. Ultimately, what I'm saying is you must control the exercise throughout the whole movement. It doesn't matter if you are an athlete or a regular gym go'er, the exercises you perform must be worth it otherwise you will get bored and you will be wasting your time and money. It is my job to make sure this doesn't happen.
My advice to you is to not go too heavy with your exercises. Asses your technique and make sure you are controlling the weight at all times. I assure you by doing this you will see better results and you will not be wasting your time. Start with your workout today and watch your body change by making this simple adaptation.