Good Exercise Technique Karp Rehab Vancouver

Good Exercise Technique Is Essential for Rehab

If you are headed to the gym for a workout or a physical therapy session, be sure to warm up before you get started and pay close attention to proper exercise form. Bad exercise technique and not warming up properly can lead to injuries.

Your warm up should consist of 5-10 minutes on the stationary bike, treadmill, or any other piece of cardio equipment. The goal is to slightly elevate your body temperature and to increase the blood flow through your muscles. This is important because soft tissue flexibility is increased with temperature elevation, a prerequisite for preventing injury and discomfort. Without it, you run the risk of experiencing back or knee pain, especially if you jump right in to your heavier sets. After you are warmed up, start with light to moderate weights for the first set of each exercise to prepare your muscles for the force of the heavier weights.

Poor technique is usually the result of using too heavy of a weight, not using full range of motion during an exercise, or by recruiting the wrong muscles into an exercise. Proper mechanics during exercise is essential. Exercises should be performed through a full range of motion in order to develop strength through the full range and to maintain flexibility. Do not sacrifice technique to use heavier weight. If your goal is to improve your strength, try lowering your repetitions and increasing your sets on each exercise. Strength improvements are best seen with low repetitions of 4-8. Your strength will also improve if you allow greater rest between your sets, often a 2-3 minute break is required to recover from a heavy set. If you are happy with moderate strength improvements or just looking for a toning program then keep your repetitions between 10-15 and keep your breaks between 20-30 seconds.

Poor exercise technique usually ends up targeting the wrong muscles, which can lead to muscle imbalance injuries. For instance, people often try to do exercises to strengthen their back but end up using their arms and shoulders. If this happens over a few months, you may end up with underdeveloped back muscles and over-trained arms and shoulders. It is also important to avoid sloppy exercise technique mistakes like moving or releasing too quickly. Your movements must be slow and controlled, all the way through the exercise.

An exception to the rule of proper exercise technique is when an injury prevents full, pain-free range of motion. In this case the exercise, should be performed throughout the pain free range only and your physician should be contacted to be sure that you are not performing any contra-indicated exercises.

Not sure about good technique? Ask a personal trainer for advice. And remember: most exercises require good posture, so keeping your chest out and shoulders back is usually a good place to start.