EXERCISE CORRECT TECHNIQUE
Exercise is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. Many people attend gyms or exercise at home. They may have a personal trainer to watch their technique, but mostly they continue with routines that were demonstrated a long time ago. They may see a video on a new technique or read an article and become engaged to try it out. With all this information it is easy to make mistakes in an exercise regime or fall into using incorrect techniques over time. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure that you are doing exercises correctly.
1. Make sure that you know which muscle groups you want to work during an exercise. All exercises have to have a purpose to be effective and specific to your needs. For example, if you want to work on your knee control, it is important that you work on your quadriceps, in particular
the inside muscle of the quadriceps, the Vastus Medialis Obliquus muscle (VMO muscle). This is the major stabiliser muscle of the knee cap. Do your research or ask a professional such as a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist to ensure that you work on the correct muscle groups.
2. Learn what a normal muscle ‘working’ sensation feels like. When a muscle is working, you should feel a slight ‘burning’ sensation in the muscle you are targeting, which disappears when you stop the exercise.
3. You should not feel a ‘pain’ sensation in tendons of the muscles, in the joint or in the different muscles that you are targeting. However, in the next day or two, a normal sensation can be a feeling of soreness or bruising. This is called delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) and is part of the normal muscle growth process after exercise. It should not be painful in the area or the joint in the day or two after exercise.
4. Technique is also very important. The way you do an exercise can make the difference between an effective exercise and an ineffective exercise.
To address all these four issues, ask a professional physiotherapist or exercise physiologist to supervise your programme. It is important that you obtain the correct information about the various techniques, at least at the start of your programme, to ensure that you are getting exactly what you want from your programme with correct form, technique and purpose.
Michael Dermansky a Senior Physiotherapist and Managing Director of MD Health Pilates, with 17 years’ experience of treating clients from all walks of life, from 6-year-old children all the way to the age of 92. He can be contacted through his website.