Starting a fitness journey can be a great learning experience, especially if you pay attention to certain key elements. Here are the top five things that I wish I had known before I started my fitness journey. These tips focus on longevity and will help you avoid common mistakes and injuries along the way.
#1 – Intra-Abdominal Pressure: Breathing is a crucial aspect of our fitness journey, often overlooked. It’s the foundation of protecting our spine and keeping our body safe and moving efficiently. Understanding the concept of Intra-Abdominal Pressure (IAP) and how to apply it in high-intensity and high-load exercises can have a profound impact on our overall health and fitness. A coach who understands IAP can help you implement it in your workout routine and guide you on how to use it to drastically enhance your performance and prevent injury.
#2 – Pre-hab vs Re-hab: Preventing injury should be a top priority in any fitness journey, especially when it comes to our sedentary lifestyles that put us in compromising positions for hours at a time. Pre-hab refers to taking proactive measures, such as training, mobilizing, and strengthening areas of weakness or those that are at risk of injury, to prevent imbalances, aches, and pains. This can be integrated into your warm-up routine or set aside as dedicated time, but either way, it’s a small investment compared to the time and effort required to rehab from a serious injury or surgery.
#3 – Balancing Training Programs: A balanced training program is crucial for long-term success and injury prevention. A professional coach or trainer can help you design a program that fits your capabilities and goals, but it’s important to understand the fundamentals of a balanced program. This includes not overloading with excessive volume, balancing push and pull movements, and incorporating a variety of hinge and squat variations throughout the week and month. In high-intensity functional training programs, it’s especially important to keep the program balanced to prevent injury and promote progress.
#4 – Slow Down to Improve: As adults, it’s likely that we have developed some form of imbalance or weakness in our body. Slowing down movements with tempos or pauses can help rebuild foundational patterns of movement, improve balance, control, breathing, stability, mobility, and strength. By incorporating these techniques into your workouts, you’ll not only see an improvement in your strength and efficiency but also in your ability to move faster and better in the long run.
#5 – Proper Form is Key: Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey or have been exercising for a while, it’s never too late to learn proper form. A coach with a keen eye for technique can help you understand which muscles should be working during each movement, and how to execute each movement efficiently and effectively. Although everyone’s movements may vary based on body mechanics and anatomy, learning about each movement and how to perform it properly will benefit you in the long run, preventing nagging aches and pains and improving your overall performance. Don’t be afraid to seek out coaching, even if you think you move well, as it’s an investment in your long-term health and fitness.
In conclusion, by incorporating these tips into your fitness journey, you’ll not only see better results but also avoid common mistakes and injuries. Don’t be afraid to seek out more information, and remember that learning the “whys” behind your workout is essential to your success. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!
-Coach Vianney / Vianney@EarnedFitnessSD.com