2017 new fitness journey II: moving correctly

Where to begin?


You have embraced the right mind set. You feel excited, motivated and are raring to go as you set off on your fitness journey.

But where to begin?

Many people, brimming with enthusiasm, will begin by jogging or maybe sign-up to a gym and start to use the equipment with which they feel relatively comfortable. Either way, there is an important initial question to be answered most don’t consider: am I moving correctly?

Be conscious of everything you do

Critical when performing any movement, being conscious of everything you do is particularly significant at the beginning of a fitness journey. Moving correctly applies to whatever you do, whether running, squatting, or pulling. By learning the correct way to move at the beginning it becomes natural to you with less chance of injury or bad form that will need to be corrected later.

It takes the brain between 6,000 to 10,000 repetitions before a movement becomes a default movement pattern. Taking the time and trouble to absorb any new movement correctly from the get-go, practising to perfecting it and so avoiding the necessity of later correcting bad habits will pay enormous dividends, not least in helping minimise risk of injury.

Take running; people assume they know how to run, yet the number I come across with knee problems because of how they run is quite extraordinary. Interestingly, most of them think that this is simply a by-product of a lot of mileage, even when it is clearly not the case.

The main reason for any joint pain when running is because the runner is not using their musculature to take up the shock of landing. People should be landing with the palm of the foot, rather than the heel, so the calf can take the shock, rather than it shooting up your skeleton. Muscle was designed to take the shocks we experience, to help protect our joints and ligaments rather than use them as the first line of absorption. Yet I come across little awareness that such flawed technique might be an issue to be addressed to prevent joint discomfort.

The advice is simple: make technique a priority

Making sure of sound technique that never falters is the secret to setting out on a successful fitness journey. Be it on the track or in the gym, or wherever you chose to train, ensure it becomes an environment for self-improvement. Training is ongoing and for the long term. By focusing on improving the way we move, everything else will grow from there, whatever discipline you decide to follow. It is from such a beginning that the best outcomes will flow, including our fitness, our endurance, our strength and of course our physique and how good we look. So, ensure you find out what your body can do in the first instance, find out how to move properly in whatever exercise regime you choose and then you will be able to enjoy exploring how far you can push yourself, having given yourself the best possible chance of success.

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          About the author

Alex is a registered Master Trainer and Nutritional Advisor with Level 4 qualifications in obesity and diabetes. He is also a strength specialist and a Ni Dan in Shotokan Karate.

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