Last Updated on September 8, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
While some exercises are quite easy to understand, others can be a bit difficult. If you don’t learn the correct postures or positions for some routines, they can actually cause more harm than good. The last thing you want to do is pull a muscle simply because you had your arm or leg in the incorrect pose when exercising. But, personal injury isn’t the only reason why learning more about workouts is ideal.
Troubles You Prevent By Learning How to Exercise
In reality, any physical activity can fall into the category of exercise. Even chores around the house can be a great cardio workout. It’s when you want to try specific exercises where a lack of knowledge can prevent success. Here are some of the ways how learning can be beneficial to your health.
In many exercises, not knowing how to move correctly can make the effort less efficient. In other words, you’ll burn fewer calories while not getting the best workout for your muscles. For instance, a standard push-up is vastly more intense than if you use your knees instead of your feet to support your body weight. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing if that is your goal.
Take walking, for example. If you slowly walk one mile in 60 minutes, you won’t burn nearly as many calories than if you were to walk one mile in 15 minutes. It’s knowledge like this that can help you reach a higher level of fitness.
Positioning your body correctly is a key component to making sure you get the most bang for your time. Incorrect postures can take away the effectiveness of an exercise. When you think you’re working on your muscle mass, you could be doing very little for your physical development.
Creating Too Much Work For Yourself
In many instances, learning the correct way to do an exercise reduces the strain. For example, a push-up is something different if you place your hands too far away from your body. This not only can be discouraging when you can’t lift yourself, but it can also be damaging on joints through the pressure of trying to push.
On the other hand, modifying an exercise safely can maximize the experience. Using push-ups as an example again, you can always try to clap when you go up. Unfortunately, many of us will simply crash onto our hands in the process. The point is that some exercises can be modified in a safe way to add more to the experience. Even in these situations, you’ll still need to learn how to do it without crumpling up onto the floor.
Understanding Muscle Groups
This one is actually quite easy to avoid. I mean, you’re not going to do a bicep curl if you want to work on your butt. However, some exercises are less obvious. For instance, did you know that a row machine will also put some work on your pecs as well as your upper back? I didn’t until I started doing the exercise.
Understanding how some exercises improve your lifestyle is also incredibly beneficial. I no longer have stiffness and pain in my lower back when visiting the driving range thanks to doing the standing toe touch. Because I’ve been stretching out and working on my lower back, bending over to tee up a golf ball is no longer a chore after 30 or so swings. This is only one example of how learning exercises can influence your life.
One of my favorite things to point out is how a regular routine of using 10-pound dumbbells has affected shopping. Picking up a 50-pound bag of dog food is much easier than it was in the past. You shouldn’t exercise because you just want to lose weight or look like a supermodel. You should do it because it makes so many things in your life so much easier to handle.
And Finally…Preventing Injury
I know a lot of people who have hurt themselves badly by not learning how to do certain exercises correctly. For me, it was the metatarsal stress fractures from walking a 5k in loafers at 280 pounds. I’ve seen people break arms while arm wrestling because they didn’t have their body positioned correctly. Pulling muscles during weight training is a common occurrence, especially by those who are doing it for the first time.
Learning how to exercise correctly greatly reduces the pain and suffering you could go through. While there is such a thing as “good pain” when working out, you bones shouldn’t snap because of it. Now, feeling like your pecs are on fire the day after using the bench press is relatively normal. It’s the micro tears in muscle tissue being regenerated and strengthened. But beneficial exercise should never cause you to bleed or have to be rushed to the emergency room because your body went into shock.
Where to Learn Proper Exercise Techniques
It’s not difficult to learn how to do certain exercises without hurting yourself. This is especially true thanks to the power of the Internet. I personally research everything I can about new exercises for the sheer purpose of curiosity. As a result, I have extended my knowledge of fitness exponentially over the past year.
There are a lot of good websites out there for exercising. I have an affinity towards Exercise.com, but this is just one out of many quality sites on the Internet. The hardest part is finding one that suits your specific wants and needs.
I would suggest researching exercise techniques and trusting those who have an expertise in fitness. Pulling information from a random blog may be helpful, but you need to trust the source. I know, but isn’t this a blog? Yes, and I do my best to provide quality and factual information. But even I don’t know everything there is about fitness. I am still learning. How many bloggers can say that instead of blowing smoke up your ass?
Personal trainers may be another good option, if you have the money to invest in someone’s abilities. There are many pros and cons to using a fitness expert, but you can learn a great deal about exercises from the good ones. It just depends on your commitment to healthy living.
Learning is Part of Growing
When it comes to anything in life, learning all you can will undoubtedly increase the chances of success. It takes time to become as elegant in movement as fitness trainers. Don’t assume that you can copy someone’s success without understanding the mechanics of the exercise. All it takes is a wrong bend, movement or flex to cause pain or prevent the routine from actually working.