The quality of the exercise is more important than the quantity
The surging epidemic in the past two years and advanced modern electronic equipment have flooded the field of home fitness with short fitness videos. In ACSM’s global fitness trends for 2022, home gyms came out in second place. However, doing many exercises does not necessarily lead to improvements in athletic performance.
“How long does it take for exercise to be effective?” is a question that many newbies will ask. However, doing many exercises is not effective enough, which is gradually causing many bodybuilders to lose their motivation to exercise. Whether it’s aerobic group exercises or barbell lifts, correct movement completion always takes priority over high-intensity exercise
Growing fitness group
For novices who have just started to exercise, because the proprioception is not systematically established, if there is a lack of guidance from fitness coaches at this time, it is easy to have the problem of wrong training movements. Whether it is equipment training with lower difficulty or free weight training with relatively high requirements for individuals. Even the details of every action in the aerobic exercise class require the coach to refine and disassemble each action in the early course link.
Home fitness enthusiasts
For many home fitness enthusiasts, due to the lack of scientific guidance in the early stage, it is easy to interrupt exercise by trying to get twice the result with half the effort. From the perspective of sports psychology, the reasons for the bottleneck period can be divided into three categories: adherence to the same training mode for a long time, the body begins to adapt to the established training intensity, and the physical function declines due to overtraining.
Why insisting on exercising doesn't work
Home Fitness Yoga
For example, for family fitness enthusiasts who insist on yoga punch cards and follow YouTube videos at home every day, long-term adherence to yoga courses with the wrong posture can easily lead to chronic wear and tear between muscles and joints, and the effect is not obvious for people who lose fat.
Blind weightlifting, however, ignores the synergistic effect of the joint muscles between each movement. Even if the muscles are already sore, the target muscle group will fail to activate due to movement errors, and the training achievement will decrease.
When squatting, many people always “squat down” instead of “squat back,” which will affect the hip extension force of the hip joint and hamstrings, activate the target muscle group to a small extent, and decrease the training effect. It can even cause the femoral and tibial condyles to compress the back of the meniscus cartilage, causing knee problems.
Family Spinning Bike
Home spinning users often make mistakes in their perception of riding posture:
- Put your whole body weight on the handlebars, which will cause the muscles to not work properly and strain the shoulders “Picture: upper left”
- Shoulders are tense, causing uneven muscle exertion “Picture: upper right”
- Exercise overload during the course, resulting in lower back tension “Picture: lower left”
- Holding the handle for a long time will compress the ulnar nerve. The handle should not be held lightly, which may cause the risk of falling injury. “Picture: lower right”
Many people ignore that the exercise effect is not good, and they are more likely to mistakenly think that they have entered the “bottleneck period” of exercise because they have not found the correct method. The success or failure of the fitness process depends on various factors, including active training motivation, scientific eating habits, and appropriate training rhythm. But in addition, it is more necessary to maintain quality and quantity, and correct training actions.
Why fitness is more important than quantity
A comparative study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2014 found that subjects who received scientific guidance gained 1.3kg of muscle and lost more fat, explosive power, and aerobic capacity than those who exercised alone. It is also relatively more obvious. That is to say, blind training, even at a high intensity, may not necessarily bring the same benefits as scientific training methods.
Strength training needs to target the right muscles
From the perspective of strength training, the training action is the key factor that directly affects the degree of muscle stimulation. The goal of stimulating the target training muscle group can only be achieved when the training action is completed correctly. In each exercise, there are agonists, synergists, and antagonists at the same time.
The agonist muscle, also known as the “prime mover,” refers to the muscle that plays a key role in performing a certain movement. Antagonist’s muscles are muscles that act opposite to agonist muscles. No single muscle is responsible for any particular action, just the extent to which the muscle is involved in a function to a greater or lesser extent.
In squat mode, the quadriceps and hamstrings contract during the ascending phase of the movement. The quadriceps serve to extend the knee, while the hamstrings extend the hip and help with knee extension, providing a functional antagonist at the knee.
In the training process, the agonist muscle activity is often limited due to the error of the action. Take the overhead press as an example:
- If you keep your abdominal muscles tight, keep your body in a straight line. Use your upper traps and triceps to work together to lift weights over the top. These muscles are working and are called agonists.
- The pectoral muscles will help complete this action and play a synergistic role.
- The muscles of the upper back need to be relaxed because the tense back muscles will hinder the movement of the head. In this case, the back muscles are the antagonistic muscles of the press.
- But if the body moves backward and does not form a straight line, the strength training process starts to use the wrong muscles. This causes the chest muscles to become agonists rather than synergists. The amount of exercise of the trapezius and triceps is invisible. At the same time, the lumbar spine is compressed and there is a risk of injury to the lower back.
Therefore, if you only focus on the amount of training, after a day of training, your muscles will inevitably feel sore. However, this does not mean that the target muscle group has been stimulated and started to grow.
Muscle training process needs continuous improvement
In strength training, the shaping of muscles often requires a more elaborate movement structure. For example, many members will fully straighten their knees when performing leg presses, or they will be in varus or valgus, which will lead to excessive pressure on the knee joint due to the extra weight, which will cause wear and tear in the long-term and damage the legs. A pusher with too small a back-arc will also cause the glutes to drop from the priority list of major muscle groups and focus more on quadriceps recruitment.
If you train for a long time but make slow progress, you may be in a bottleneck period and make room for improvement in training movements.
Aerobic exercise class needs to pay attention to correct movements
In aerobics classes, the problem of poor training effect is often caused by movement errors. For example, the classic movement that exists in almost all kinds of cardiopulmonary group classes – is a burpee.
Many people make many mistakes in their movements when they complete burpee training and this leads to compensatory reactions in muscles in other parts of the body. Common mistakes in burpees are:
- Lack of body tension: The back is at risk of slumping, especially during planks and push-ups. This can cause spinal overload.
- Only perform half of the exercise: If the legs are insufficiently extended back, the training of the arms and shoulders is abandoned. Correct execution requires a full range of actions. If difficult, you can slow down the movement, but ensure completeness.
- Round shoulders and hunchback: Many times, when you complete the burpee, you will unconsciously have rounded shoulders and hunchback. Keep your back straight when squatting and vertical jumping. This will also prevent muscle compensation.
- When landing, the knee falls uncontrollably inward, increasing the risk of injury. This puts enormous stress on tendons, ligaments, and joints.
During training, the quality of the movements should always come first. While avoiding injury, it effectively guarantees functional progress.
What should I do?
If you want to lose weight simply and quickly, a lot of aerobic training can achieve the goal. However, if you want to achieve a stable improvement in functionality, then avoid a long bottleneck period and gradually increase the muscle content of the target muscle group. Before ensuring the training volume, it is even more necessary to determine whether the training movements are up to the standard.
Therefore, before exercising each target muscle group, you need to determine the essentials of action and the basic muscle group structure. Divide the movement from the perspective of agonist, synergist, and antagonist, and exercise the muscle group you want to exercise as the agonist.
But training only individual muscle groups, such as the touted biceps and abdominal muscles in the fitness world, can create physical muscle imbalances and even lead to injury problems.
After ensuring a high degree of completion of the training movements, functional training can also be used to make up for the defects in daily life.
During strength training, muscles need to be exercised at different angles, volumes, and intensities to be continuously stimulated. Consistently exercising the same muscles in the same training movement pattern also limits functional progression.
The body composition analysis has become crucial for body health conditions and the technique to do so must be reliable. 3D body scanner has been introduced in the sports or fitness world making the measurement of body fat scales more feasible than ever!
Before the arrival of the plateau period, the stage of individual strength progress tends to be flat. As an advanced bodybuilder, you should change your training plan every six to eight weeks.
For novice fitness practitioners, the development of proprioception is particularly important because individuals can more clearly discern whether their muscles are tense and correctly activated during training.