When it comes to exercise, how important is technique?

The answer is: extremely! It is important that you think about which muscle or body part you are trying to work on or train and that this is where you feel the burn. For example, doing an abdominal crunch incorrectly can mean you only feel it in your neck. So, guess what you are training…? Your neck muscles, of course! 

Sometimes less is more

Being quick and doing many repetitions might make you feel you’re really working hard, but here’s a little tip: slow it down and make sure you focus on what you are doing and which body part you are working! Sometimes we compensate for weakness in an area by unconsciously transferring the stress to another part of the body which is stronger, and this - in effect - takes away from training the desired area. It is better to do less correctly than more incorrectly!

Correct technique is key

In the video below I am going to teach you the correct technique for three basic exercises that most people include in their fitness regime and that cover the body parts we all would like most to be toned and trained. 

  • THE SQUAT. This exercise trains mainly the glutes (bum), quadriceps and hamstrings (front and back leg muscles) and also works the core and back muscles a little. Bread and butter exercise for anyone wanting to have a toned bum and legs, however if done incorrectly you can transfer the emphasis and strain onto your back, knees, and hips.
  • THE CRUNCH (ab curls). This exercise works the six pack area. However, if you do not have the correct technique, you can hurt your neck and shoulders and achieve very little toning effect on the stomach area. I have seen so many people in the gym using a big Swiss ball to complete endless rounds of crunches whereby they are basically bouncing off the ball and pushing from their legs, thereby creating nothing but lots of dynamic movements. Or lying on a mat, feet tucked under something and hands at ears doing endless repetitions of crunches and thus transferring the main training effect to the feet and legs.  Half the number at lower speed but with better technique would achieve much more.
  • THE PRESS UP. This is a great exercise for creating muscle tone in arms and chest and an exercise that can be done at any level, either from a plank position or on all fours. However, if you are not doing it correctly you can strain your shoulders and back and not achieve any of the desired results.

Get a Pro to help you do it properly

It is easy to think that everyone in the gym or in classes knows what they are doing. However, this is definitely not the case. Personal trainers and fitness instructors study exercise anatomy and technique in college and can explain how to exercise most effectively and help you achieve your goals sooner and better. Why not consider having a programme made especially for you by a professional or consult a personal trainer to help get you working out safely.

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