Your preparedness when it comes to training (i.e. your lifts) revolves around a few key factors. The first being your willingness to push yourself to new levels of intensity and physical output. The second being your consistency and discipline with a training schedule and finally, how you perform your exercises will solidify both your safety and your success.
In order to ensure you are doing everything correctly with the movements you have chosen to include in your program, take stock of the following advice and apply each to your current level of training. If you are incorporating most, if not all, of the strategies below then you are good. If not, start doing so to improve the legitimacy in your lifts.
Full Range of Motion In Your Lifts
One of the best strategies you can apply to your movement patterns, regardless of whether you’re just starting out or you’re a veteran of the game, is to always utilize a full range of motion within your lifts. Now, keep in mind, this will look different from individual to individual because of biomechanics, physical structure and possibly any injury-related issues.
That said, your aim and focus should always be on moving through the full eccentric portion of the repetition followed by a smooth yet forceful propulsion up and into a full concentric finish. This will ensure that you are tasking the muscle from its origin all the way to its insertion which has always proved to be the best course of action for full muscle stimulation.
Posture and Form
Second to using a full range of motion would be making sure that while doing so, you are in the correct position with your posture and you are maintaining your form throughout the movement. If your biomechanics are off when training, then a couple of things will happen.
First, you may be setting yourself up for immediate injury or something negative that will occur over time due to incorrectly applied stress on your structure. Or, you won’t be targeting the muscle as effectively as possible which will yield less than desirable results for you.
If you are unsure of either your posture or your form or both, ask any of the trainers here at Brickhouse Gym for help with this and they will correct your alignment, identify any movement issues and then adjust what you’re currently doing so that you can experience even more success.
Muscle stimulation occurs in many different forms. You can go about lifting weights by trying to improve upon your strength in one to two different planes (up and down, side to side) or you can do so in every different plane. The true legitimacy in your lifts depends upon your education as it pertains to how your body responds best to the movement patterns you use.
For example, most incline benches are set up at a 45-degree angle for targeting the upper pecs. This might work for most, but it doesn’t for others.
Do you just settle with that or do you start using a 30-degree angle instead? Most machines are designed to fit the majority of the people that will eventually use it. Does that mean you don’t have to manipulate your position within it to make sure you’re targeting the muscle at the right angle? Of course not.
The only way you will legitimately be able to entice your body to grow through weight training is by understanding what angles you work best in that fully stimulate hypertrophy and strength for you. It’s as simple as that.
If you ever take a minute at your gym to stop and look around at all of the people there training, what you will notice is that many of the same exercises are done with a different look to them. This occurs for a few reasons, some good and some bad.
You want to be sure that the reason you look different from everyone else when you’re training is because you’ve found the correct form and position for you and you’ve identified the correct angles to work within and you’ve properly addressed and now apply the full range of motion repetition ranges into your training.
This way, you’ll experience more success, lower the possibility of impending injury and have more fun while training all because you’ve inserted a new and higher level of legitimacy into your lifts.
Author: Dana Bushell
Gym Star Team Member