Good training starts with the basics.
Whether you are beginning your first fitness journey or have been training for years, focusing on the basic set up and execution of an exercise should be your first priority.
These steps are often forgotten as we progress, however, if you can include them as part of your routine you gain more control over your body, prevent injury, and achieve better results. Always warm-up. Cardio helps raise your core temperature. A warm body is better prepared for exercise and less likely to suffer an injury. I recommend 15-20min prior to your routine.
Mobility exercises to follow. These are dependant on your routine but your body works in sequence. Working in one area will benefit another. A healthy body is well balanced. Strong and flexible. Working on the shoulder blades, shoulder joints, and opening the hips should be included as these are the most mobile joints in the body and thus most likely to suffer an injury. The shoulder blades are the foundation of support for your chest and shoulders. The weaker the foundation of a building, the more likely the above stories will become damaged.
Posture is the same with every exercise. Standing, bent over, floor work etc. Stand/be tall, chest proud, shoulders back and stomach drawn in.
In most cases of exercise focused on deep breaths are the tempo. Fast-paced exercises, explosive training, etc are the exception and deep breathing is best done before each set. This allows your body to store more oxygen and expel more carbon dioxide.
Breathe in on the stretching phase of an exercise, then breathe out on the squeezing phase of the exercise, or simply exhale on the effort.
Before weighted exercises, I recommend going through 1 or 2 lightweight, high rep sets to form a better connection between the mind and the muscles. Feel your muscles stretch and squeeze with every rep. Picture opening a draw. Extending along with its bracket sliders as the muscles stretch. Then sliding back as the muscles contract as the draw is closed.
After every routine, I highly recommend stretching to aid in the recovery of your body and flushing out of byproducts created through the muscles squeezing and stretching. This also keeps the fascia that surrounds the muscle flexible to allow muscle growth and releases excess tension on soft tissue such as the tendons and ligaments. Remember that you are causing microscopic injuries to your muscles while you train. The body’s first response to an injury is to tighten up to reduce further injury. Stretching helps combat this and will prevent future complications.
- Warm up with cardio
- Focus on strengthening shoulders
- Good posture
- Focus on deep breaths
- Start light