Do you want to avoid injury while maximizing your strength, conditioning, and weight loss results from your fitness program? Here’s how: Skill, Endurance, Strength. In that order. No exceptions. In other words… don’t load a faulty movement pattern.
Before adding load to an exercise, make sure you can do the movement pattern correctly. For example, don’t start doing squats with a loaded barbell across your shoulders if you can’t squat your body weight without bending forward at the waist, shifting your weight to one side, your knees caving in (or out), your heels coming up off the floor, your hips twisting or dipping to one side, etc. Learn to master the skill of squatting first. You may need to address some mobility or core stability issues before progressing to that point. If a person can’t do an easier version of an exercise without compensating, making it harder will most likely end up in an injury and a set back. Learn the skill of the movement pattern first. For some folks this only takes a few minutes; for others it can take weeks to address issues that are contributing to the problem.
Now that you can do the skill properly, make sure you can do it over and over again without losing proper form as you fatigue. In other words – endurance. Not just muscle endurance, but neuromuscular endurance. Once you lose your form, you need to take a rest. Gradually improve your endurance of doing the skill properly before adding more load. How much endurance do you need? It depends on your goals. In the weight room, you need enough endurance to get through the desired number of sets and reps for your training program. If you’re walking a mile, you need to be able to handle 2000 steps. If you’re running a marathon, you need to be able to handle approximately 50,000 steps depending on your stride length.
Once you’ve mastered the skill and can do it repeatedly with good technique, now you’re ready to increase the external load to improve your strength. Don’t get greedy here; you’re basically right back at the skill stage. Now that you’ve added load, can you still do the skill correctly? With enough endurance to get through your workout goal?
Repeat these steps until you’ve achieved your goal. Please realize that there aren’t any short cuts. If you’re patient, smart, and consistent, you’ll get there without any setbacks 🙂
If you need help figuring out how to improve your skill, endurance, strength – or want to know which exercises would be best suited to help you achieve your goals, call me now and we’ll get started!