Strength Training Alexandria VA. Fundamentals of Proper Technique

Strength Training Alexandria VA. Fundamentals of Proper Technique. Plus 7 expert tips on lifting weights from a certified personal trainer.

Tips on Learning Strength Training Alexandria VA

Prevent Injury by Using Proper Technique for Strength Training

Every exercises has points of performance — techniques that describe the correct way to perform an exercise. While all exercises have different points of performance, there are several common principles to most exercises.

Maintain Midline Stability

Your lumbar and thoracic spine should be maintained in a neutral, braced position for most exercises.

Core to Extremity

In general, you want to move or engage the larger muscles in your body before the smaller ones. Hips before biceps.

Find Balance Amongst the Frontal Plane

When lifting weights, the you should maintain an even load across your midfoot. To the right, is an infographic illustrating some of the key points of performance of the kettlebell swing — a great exercise for strength training in Alexandria VA. The nature of the swing involves using the upper muscles in the traps to control the movement of the kettle as it swings outwardly. If you look carefully at the picture, you can see how the coach leans backward and tightens his right shoulder as the kettlebell travels upward. The shoulder and kettlebell provide opposing forces allowing the coach to maintain his balance amongst the front plane.

Kettlebell Swing Strength Training Alexandria VA
Single Arm Kettlebell Swing Infographic

Learning Proper Form for Strength Training Takes Time

It can take months to become adept at complex exercises like deadlifts and kettlebell swings.  At our studio in Alexandria VA, we focus on focus and proper mechanics constantly.  In contract, when you train at public gym in Alexandria VA, you are constantly bombarded with examples of poor technique. When you watch a video like the one below on the kettlebell swing, there are lots of cues and points of performance to remember. Whatismore, you don’t have a strength training coach watching your technique to makes sure it matches the standard. Moreover, you don’t have a strength training coach making adjustments to that standard based on your mobility and anthropology. Youtube is great… just remember it’s limited in its benefit.

Improve Muscle Targeting for Strength Training Alexandria VA

Utilizing proper form helps ensure that you target the correct muscles. If you are performing squats, you should feel the weight of the barbell in your entire legs. For example, your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. If you don’t, you probably aren’t doing the exercise correctly.

YouTube video

Use Proper Form and Step Wasting Energy

Proper form places your body in its strongest position.  This is the key to proper strength training.  In contrast, improper form decreases the efficiency of your exercises. Decreased efficiency means less gains and more risk of injury. When you lift with incorrect form, your body expends unnecessary energy and increases the risk for compensation injuries.

YouTube video

Pro Tips from a Certified Trainer in Alexandria VA

Choose Your Weights Carefully for Strength Training in Alexandria VA.

When you select weights that are too heavy, your body will recruit muscles that are not designed for that exercise. How heavy is too heavy? If you are new to weight lifting, 10-15 reps per set is a good minimum rep range.

Full Range of Motion is Critical.

New clients in our studio in Alexandria VA tend to do partial range of motion in strength training initially.  That is, most inexperienced lifters tend to only work their mid-range. Working the middle of the range of the muscle contraction is easier because you are strong in this range. Working just the midrange can lead to loss of mobility and eventually injury. So if you are doing half-reps, you probably have too much weight on the bar. Check your ego, and select an appropriate weight.

Breathe Control is Important.

Different types of training (yoga, weight lifting, bodybuilding, running, strength training, etc.) require different breathing patterns. Breath work is even different in deadlifts versus kettlebell swings. So do your research and check with a certified personal trainer or strength training coach in Alexandria VA on how to breath for the exercises in your workout plan.

Balance your Programming and Avoid the Mirror Muscles.

Most people that lift on their own, e.g. without a certified personal trainer or strength training coach, have self-inflicted muscle imbalances. In many cases, this means the client has worked the muscles that he or she can see in the mirror. Abs, quads, chest, and biceps. In contrast, the same people generally have weak hamstrings, groin, glutes, lower back, triceps, and neck muscles. Getting stronger involves strengthening all your muscles in the kinetic chain — not just the ones you see in the mirror.

Three Times a Week is Best for Strength Training.

In terms of improvement per hour, your sweet-spot is going to be a solid hour every other day. Alternating rest and workout days provides you sufficient recovery time. If you want to spend more time on your health and fitness, spend the time shopping and prepping your food.  There are lots of great local markets in Alexandria VA.  On your off day, do some walking, light cardio, some dancing, etc.

Learning Proper Warm-ups is Very Important.

Warmups provide a host benefits such as patterning, increasing blood flow, improving muscle plasticity, and decreasing risk of injury, etc. Warm-ups are probably the most important part of your workout, they are not to be skipped.  Any good strength training coach in Alexandria VA, should reinforce this principle.

Additional Resources for Proper Technique in Strength Training in Alexandria VA

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