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April 10, 2018

Focus on Mechanics for a Healthy Body

Man Performing a Squat Snatch

Let’s all move better. Please. Well, definitely stop moving terribly.

If you have never been taught proper mechanics, come in and let’s work on it! I challenge you to spend time and energy on simply moving well for a few workouts, or for 20 minutes per workout, and then work up to every time you move your body in life. Moving well means don’t focus on the weight or the intensity of the workout. Don’t worry about how much you sweat or how many calories you burned. Only focus on moving properly. Mechanics is everything. It’s Bae. #AllMechanicsMatter. Improving the way your body moves is a fundamental aspect of exercise that is too often neglected. Trying to be fit by going pedal to the metal every workout, and never worrying about technique, is an immature way of thinking about the health of your body. It is also a surefire way to get an injury and have your body breakdown on you. A human body cannot be considered fully healthy until it moves well. Period.

“I just want to get in a good workout, bro.”

This is a sentiment I am arguing against. Let me set a scene. A trainer notices someone has too much weight on a bar to safely perform a deadlift or snatch, and instructs the person to lighten the load. The person does not want to go lighter because they feel they will not get the pump necessary to call it a good workout. I dislike this attitude very much. My answer to them is: “We all want you to get in a good workout, but what you intend on doing, and the way you are going to move your joints, limbs and muscles, will result in a bad workout. Your muscles will get strong in the wrong areas, your ligaments could be stretched into poor positions, your muscle memory will be hampered…” I could go on and on.

Getting in a good workout can also mean performing an exercise that is tough for you to do with great form, and concentrating on just the form of it for many repetitions.

If you never add a lot of weight to a barbell that day, or you do not get out of breath, it is perfectly okay. You have still completed a good workout, and it was probably the most beneficial thing you could have done in a gym that day.

To a trained eye, improper technique can reveal a lot about potential injury; it can point out tight joints that need more range of motion, it can explain current bodily ailments a client or member has, and it can also point to muscular imbalances we need to address. The goal of this all is to prevent future ailments before they happen. Many members and clients actually wonder why we concentrate so much on the minute details of their motion. It is because we know what bad form can do to a body. On the flip side of this equation are good mechanics. Good mechanics are a wonderful thing. They are a sign of a fully functioning, healthy body, and someone who works out in a smart way.

(THIS PARAGRAPH I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH) Be receptive to a trainer’s corrections; ask why a move is important if not clear, and ask how to do an exercise if you do not fully understand. Keep performing that move with no weight or a light weight until you do it correctly. Also, we aren’t coaching techniques with no reason behind it. Any good trainer has an answer as to why they are making you perform a move and how to optimally perform it. The more you know about the why and the how, the more you should be able to put the whole picture of fitness together. Take these mechanics and instructions seriously in the gym, and you will soon be moving efficiently and safely throughout every activity in life. Isn’t that what we all want?

Now, let’s get out there and try to move perfectly, one workout at a time!

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