Saturday, November 28, 2009

Don't forget your form! Cardio the Right Way

Performing proper form at the gym is essential to getting the most our of your workout and also preventing injuries that could keep you out of the weight room and out of shape for weeks or even months! So why risk it? Always make sure that you are executing the exercise correctly and with proper form. If you are unsure, ask one of the personal trainers at the gym that you go to. They will most likely want to help and if they don't...then you are probably going to the wrong gym. So, going back to form. Many times when people think about proper form they think about form when lifting heavy free weights or using the strength training machines but the truth is that correct form applies to everything you do in the gym - from simply how you pick weights up from the floor to how you keep good form when do your cardio sessions. Cardio is the part I want to emphasize on because its the area that I see most people forget about. How many times have you seen someone on the treadmill holding on for dear life with the speed cranked up all the way? Or someone who's loud stomping on the treadmill disrupts your favorite tune on your ipod? How many times have you seen someone on the StairMaster but they look like they might as well be lying down or taking a nap because eventhough their legs are moving the rest of their body is hanging off the machine? Take Notice next time you go to the gym. Cardio equipment should be used with proper form too. Incorrect repeated motion can cause your body a lot of damage in the long run. By preforming proper from you may also be able to even burn more calories so don't cheat your body out of having a complete body workout! If you feel your body is having to compensate during the exercise then slow down! Reduce the speed or the intensity level and build your capacity slowly over time. Get familiar with the machine and its various settings. Again don't be shy to talk to a personal trainer at your gym! As you progress, increase the intensity of your workouts by increasing speed, platform grade or program from time to time. Burning more calories is all about keeping your workout exciting and changing all the time. Also, keep a neutral spine during cardio exercises like the StairMaster, treadmill, and elliptical machines and use the handles or bars with a light grip if needed. Also when using stationary bikes make sure that the bike is set to your height and that your legs when completely extend still have a slight bend. Over extending the knee in this machine in repeated motion can cause injury to the knee. So go on take your cardio to another level and do it right!

1 comment:

Gato said...

Gael, this post is so interesting. I often see what you point out here, people doing cardio while reading a magazine or the newspaper. If only they knew how much more effective it would be to focus for 20 minutes on good form and intense exercise, and then they can enjoy their paper! Thanks for posting.