22 Jun The importance of technique in training.
Is technique important when it comes to training?
For a while, I have been noticing that lots of people do not prioritize technique when it comes to training. What I mean is the way they carry out exercises (be it when running or training at home) and with what we have been living through recently, locked indoors., this is getting worse.
In one way or another, ALL of us have ended up doing physical activity in our homes, by ourselves, or with videos on the website, live classes, etc. Of course, this is very good because firstly that we have needed to remain active and moving so as not to end up physically and mentally exhausted, but in many cases exercises are being done without the supervision of professionals, changing the technique, or even doing it wrongly. Have you stopped to think about exercise techniques? How have you been doing it? This is what I am going to talk about in my post today.
Training techniques or their execution are fundamental to carry out any sport you do. Why? Because when you do sport you are activating all parts of your body and if you don’t carry out the movements in a correct way, you will not be training in a safe way and you risk getting injured. These injuries are probably not short term, but rather a long term as if you are repeating the same exercise everyday wrongly, in the end, you will end up damaging your joints, muscles, your posture…etc.
The principal mistakes when carrying out an exercise can be due to:
1. Carrying more weight than you should. It is very typical to see this in sports centers/gyms, where many people are moving lots of weight when they are doing weight training such as chest presses, back rowing with weights, etc, where yes, you do lift lots of weights ( it’s a fact) but how this is done is very poor.
Advice: It is better to use fewer weights and do the exercise properly, avoid subsequent injuries, bad posture, and excessive effort which could result in you ending up in bed for quite a while. It is more important that you do the exercise correctly and that use more weights. (You will have time to use more weights in the future).
2. Doing exercises too quickly. To achieve a good technique, you will need to concentrate and do the exercises at an appropriate speed where you feel in control to do the exercise correctly.
Advice: It does not matter if on the first day at a certain time we do fewer repetitions of the exercise. It is better to do fewer repetitions but do them well than lots of repetitions which are carried out badly. When you have the basic movements mastered, you will be able to do a lot more repetitions at the same time than when you started.
3. Following people who are not at your level. Of course, we can do the same training that our friends and colleagues do, but we have to adapt them to our level. For instance, if your best friend can do 20 burpees in one minute, and you can only do 6, but they 6 are really well done, they are as valid as those of your friend. Don’t be ashamed about doing fewer repetitions or about going slower when you are doing them, as everyone has to follow his or her own level.
Advice: It is very important that the weight, rhythm, and performance is adapted and personalized to each person’s level (if you want to work with your weights suitable for you, you can do a strength test before starting your training). When doing timed training with friends or training companions, etc it is highly advisable that each one does their best in 30 seconds of training, using the correct weights for each one, without forcing anyone to carry out a certain number of repetitions.
4. Doing a complicated training session when mentally or physically tired. Of course, we are not always going to train with the same level of energy, but it is true that sometimes we force ourselves to go training, but we are physically and mentally “dead”. On such days we can train, but we should look for trainings that are not as challenging in terms of weights and performance.
Advice: Nowadays we ask for too much; look for alternatives to training which aren’t too demanding when it comes to weights, technique, thinking too much about how to do it…For instance, going out for a walk, a run, doing any cardio machine exercise o even resting. Think smart, listen to your body, and mind and avoid training when tired in order not to make mistakes when training which could affect your technique.
5. Training with groups with excessive groups. Naturally, I am not against group activities, quite the opposite, but what I am against is taking advantage of trainers and clients and lack of correct supervision by trainers when it comes to doing these classes. This is a problem in lots of sports centers/gyms which are crowded and sometimes athletes, as well as experienced trainers, exercise without paying attention to the technique, a high number of clients or the lack of interest of teaching or doing things properly, and they can end up causing injuries, therefore, injuring by clients.
Advice: (Avoid rush hour if possible) Try to do collective activities with a number of people but not an excessive amount where at least the trainer can work with you in case you are doing an exercise wrongly. Every movement needs total attention, starting with posture, performance, and the weight to achieve a healthy and efficient result, without injury or subsequent pains due to incorrect technique.
6. Eating an unhealthy diet or training with excess stimulants (energy drinks, for example). Food is very important as we cannot do training with ideal techniques if we are not properly nourished and have not enough strength to do the exercises. This affects technique in the same way that all the sections mentioned in terms of speed of performance and tiredness.
Advice: It is not only about carrying out training well but also about our lifestyle in general, we should eat a healthy and full diet (link to my previous post), full of all the necessary nutrients which can help carry out our vital functions, so imagine how good food needs to be if we want to perform and carry out trainings well. Forget about energetic drinks, and whatever else that is going to damage your nervous system, focus on real food.
So what conclusion can we draw from all this? Whether you are a beginner or not, you should put into practice the following advice:
- Start exercising without weights; practicing techniques of each one of them and once you have mastered these, add weights progressively.
- When you want to do exercises with heavyweights, do this under the supervision of a trainer.
- Carry out exercises in front of a mirror so you can observe how you are doing each one of them.
- Don’t try to impress anyone by lifting loads of weights as you will most probably just end up injuring yourself and impressing nobody.
- Don’t overdo it by doing too many repetitions or heavy weights which you can’t control as this will damage your muscles.
- Before doing any exercise, do research (look for experts who can assess you first), and don’t be guided by what they say on social media.
Remember that the most important thing is your body, you should look after it, as it will sustaining you for the rest of your life. Also, the point of doing an activity, exercise…etc. is to improve your well-being and not to damage or hurt your body.
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