Monday, September 14, 2009

Back To Basics

by: Paul Boisvert - NSPA Certified Conditioning Specialist

There comes a time in everyone’s workout program where the workout routine starts to feel stale. The exercises that initially challenged us no longer seem to be as potent as they once were. The cure for this could be as simple as revisiting the techniques that you learned at the start of your fitness experience.

Effective workouts rely heavily on basic skills. If you want results, just going through the motions will not cut it. The basics need to be applied with every repetition. I have seen barbell bicep curls that look like a poor attempt at an overhead barbell toss. I have witnessed some lifters do a fine job with their impression of a folding chair while attempting squats. There are some things I can’t see because of the intense speed at which the exercise is being performed. Unfortunately these common occurrences are more likely to get you into rehab before they transform you into a physical specimen.

The other side of the spectrum is occupied by fitness enthusiasts who don’t challenge themselves enough simply because they try to avoid the work part of the workout or they are not sure of their limits. There’s always that fear of turning into a muscular freak of nature too. That keeps me up at night.

There are a lot of factors that will contribute to fine tuning your basic skills.

Learning how to have your targeted muscle lead the movement is big. For example, you don’t want to tax your biceps with an exercise meant for the upper back.

Become more conscious of your muscular range of motion (ROM). When we go beyond a muscle’s ROM, we risk injury by overtaxing other areas of our body. A muscle must also be worked through its entire ROM. Otherwise it will become tight and injury prone. These considerations are especially important when it comes to the muscles that involve the hip and shoulder joints.

Practice proper body alignment while training. Most of us are out of line when it comes to our bodies. By maintaining proper alignment throughout your workouts, you’ll create a stronger support system throughout your body.

These are just three of the things I look out for when training my clients or instructing a class. There will always be exceptions to these rules depending on the circumstances. That’s what makes professional guidance so beneficial.

For a free consultation, please contact me at or attend my Power Play class on Wednesday evening at 5:30 and Saturdays mornings at 8:00.

Stay Healthy!!!!!!

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