Exercise Technique - Fitness - Virgin Active South Africa

By: Virgin Active  11-11-2011
Keywords: Exercise

Exercise Technique - The Importance of Correct Exercise Technique

Exercise is a vital part of good health, and exercising correctly will help to keep your body fit, strong and looking great. It’s important for every individual to follow some sort of exercise routine on a regular basis, and doing so will put you on the path to a longer and healthier life.

But just as important as exercising is exercising correctly. When performed properly, exercise is highly beneficial to the body. It strengthens, tones and reduces fat. It improves your sleeping patterns, boosts energy levels and improves your mental performance. It’s great for the body, mind and soul, and it’s essential for every person. But exercising incorrectly could lead to strain and injury, and that’s why it’s so critical to recognise the importance of correct exercise technique, and to follow the right methods when you embark upon your fitness program.

Below, you’ll find tips and advice for exercising correctly, particularly when weight training. Whether you’re seeking exercise techniques to lose weight or simply to stay healthy, following the right steps is vital. The importance of correct exercise technique must be recognised – and will help you to get the most out of your training session.

Tips for exercising correctly

When you exercise incorrectly, especially when you’re using weights, you put undue strain on your body, which can lead to injury. If exercise is leaving you feeling sore, overly stiff or uncomfortable, you’re unlikely to continue! Thus, by following a few helpful tips, you can learn how to work out correctly and stick to a successful, enjoyable exercise routine.

  • Go easy on your back. The back is one of the parts of the body most likely to experience strain when exercising incorrectly. Your lower back in particular needs to be looked after well. Don’t overly extend or flex your lower back, or place excessive pressure on it when weight training. Also, bear in mind that the stronger your abs, the more protection your lower back will have.
  • Be gentle with your joints. If your joints are damaged, they can take a long time to heal – if they heal at all. Listen to your body: If your joints are aching, particularly your knee joints, reduce the weight or take a break.
  • Use your legs. When you bend down to pick up a heavy item, you bend your knees and raise yourself up using your legs. This prevents back strain. The same should be done when you exercise. Never use your back muscles to lift weights – always use your legs. This applies to any type of exercise involving weights, and even when carrying or putting them in place.
  • Breathe properly. Your breath gives your body the strength it needs to perform exercises. By holding your breath or breathing irregularly during exercise, you’re making it more difficult for blood to flow, and thus to exercise easily. Not breathing properly – or, worse, holding your breath, specifically during weight training – puts extreme pressure on your heart, lungs and arteries.
  • Don’t exercise an injured body part. No matter how careful you are, you may sustain an injury while working out. Don’t exercise the part of your body that is injured until it is fully healed, as this could lead to more serious damage.
  • Warm up, stretch and cool down. These are vital components of your workout routine. Always ensure that your muscles and joints are warm before you start exercising, by stretching for 10 – 15 minutes beforehand. Once you’re finished working out, slow your pace and cool down for 10 to 15 minutes.

Speak to us about correct exercise technique

As a Virgin Active Health Club member, you have access to many trained fitness experts who are there to help you exercise correctly and enjoyably. Our fitness teams are skilled in using the equipment available to you, and are fully aware of the importance of correct exercise technique. If you’re in doubt about any of the equipment, machinery or exercises you’re performing, speak to one of them. They’re there to help you!

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