When it comes to exercising and working out, most people have apprehensions about whether they can get injuries from it and choose to stay away. Other concerns such as gym membership prices, the supplements dilemma, and whether to invest in a trainer or not, also drive people away. However, a focus on the basics could keep a lot of these concerns at bay. These include the right ways of breathing and a correct posture during workout.
Dr Manan Vora, Sports Medicine Expert and Orthopaedic Surgeon, tells Health Shots about the basics for exercising.
This is a basic you cannot ignore. Sometimes, we unconsciously forget to breathe while exercising, and it works against us. Our body needs more oxygen while exerting ourselves, and so the impact of exercise is not as efficient if we deprive our bodies of oxygen. An instructor is better trained to notice if you are not breathing well enough by spotting the signs on you while working out. While weight training, one must know when to breathe in and when to breathe out.
One of the main reasons people get injured while working out is improper posture and form. Whether you are doing floor exercises or sitting ones, or standing exercises, your posture must be kept in mind throughout. It is important not only for your overall walk and confidence but also internally, to ensure that there is minimal muscle pain or strain.
A good way to know if your form is off, is pain. Listen to your body as you exercise – too much pain means that you’re doing something wrong.
Ensure that you’re in form is by getting your regular routine exercises checked by a professional trainer. A lot of times, people watch each other in the gym, and that could result in copying improperly. Hence, this should be kept in mind to avoid any unnecessary strains or sprains.
Make sure to identify the proper form for each exercise. Use your joints for a full range of movement when you are lifting weights. Your results will then be better, and your chances of injury reduce.
Another way is to reduce your reps or the actual weight that you’re carrying, if you find it difficult to maintain proper form till you can ease into it. Even as you pick up and replace your weights on the weight racks, remember that the perfect form is key. Ask a personal trainer for advice if you’re unsure about how to perform a specific activity.
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According to Michigan State University, there are some recommendations to keep in mind, such as
• Maintaining your neck and spine in the same line
• Maintaining your chin and neck alignment
• Keeping your pelvis tucked under slightly and pull the belly button towards the spine
• Keeping your ears over your shoulders
• Keeping your back straight
• Not to lock your knees and rather keep them relaxed
The general guidelines to keep in mind are that your arms should be naturally at your sides as you stand tall with your chest elevated. Try and consciously avoid tensing up your neck or hunching your shoulders. Stay focused on your core, as you can be more effective at lifting weights if your core is stronger.
Posture goes beyond the gym. Work on your upper back muscles while stretching your chest muscles if your posture is poor from sitting at a desk all day. Work from home has also increased side effects of bad posture. At work, ensure you take breaks throughout the day to combat upper-cross syndrome – a condition in which some muscles weaken and stretch while others get stiff.
Your form is especially important for deadlifts, squats, the bent-over two-arm dumbbell rows and lateral pull-downs.
Hygiene aspects to keep in mind are also checking on the weight you lift, resting enough, not skipping warm-ups and cool-downs and balancing your workouts rather than overloading them.
By keeping these in mind – there is no reason why your workout will now be effective and leave you feeling better than ever.