Diet & Exercise: By learning sound fitness techniques, you’ll enjoy exercising

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, July 13, 2017

From time to time I have other personal trainers come to me to sharpen their trainer’s skills. I stress to even these “pros” the importance of incorporating proper exercise technique and how that should best be performed at home, the weight room, rehab facility, or gym.

This is a must at any age or fitness level for several reasons. First, if exercise is done correctly there’s much less chance of injury. The greater share of exercise related injuries don’t happen in dramatic fashion. Most begin with just a twinge that doesn’t feel right, then gets worse.

Another reason I teach and use proper exercise form is progress. If exercises aren’t performed correctly, you won’t get desired results. Also, when you exercise incorrectly, whether using free weights, exercise bands, machines, or any exercise equipment, you emphasize the wrong muscles, or worse, you put too much pressure on your joints.

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You see, any exercise movement, whether it be weight training or aerobics, involves pressure on two areas of the body, the muscles and the joints. The goal should be to take pressure off joints and put it on muscles.

Weight training exercises may look simple, but can actually be very complex. Whether, I’m teaching individual clients, groups, or even other personal trainers, I show them how many pieces there are to a particular exercise, how those pieces influence parts of the body, then how to best put all the exercise pieces together. That culminates into the proper exercise routine.

Just what kind of difference can it make? I often show how just a quarter inch (that’s not much, is it?) difference in an exercise movement can triple results derived from that same exercise, performed the usual way. In fact, did you know that just breathing correctly when doing abdominal exercises will more than double your rate of toning those abs?

I tell clients that every exercise I put in their routine is to prepare them for yet another exercise. There’s no such thing as the perfect exercise routine forever. Your body will eventually adjust to the encumbrance, and stop making the same progress. Exercise routines must  be changed. The key is knowing how and when to change them.

Yet another reason to learn proper exercise form is when someone has learned exercises incorrectly, their body actually gets used to it. The way they initially learn any exercise movement, correct or incorrect, is chemically etched in their brain. This makes it more difficult to relearn (if you will) new, proper exercise form.

Don’t worry though, if you’ve been exercising in a way that doesn’t support you, you can learn how to do it properly. By learning sound fitness techniques, you’ll enjoy exercising more too. You’ll be much more secure, and able to be more aggressive (within your limits), having the confidence in your ability to perform exercises well.

So, just how do we go about learning to exercise the proper way? First, let’s go over what we shouldn’t do.

Don’t learn by copying someone else in the gym, no matter how fit they are. It takes years, even after education, to learn how to teach proper exercise technique.

Don’t get your sole exercise knowledge from television, because you can’t get answers to questions you might have.

Don’t get your training intelligence from books or magazines for that same reason.

I recommend you contact an exercise professional. Sit with them and express your goals, concerns, and limitations. When they implement your fitness program, ask questions and take notes. Be sure to tell them when something doesn’t feel right during your exercise sessions. Learn proper exercise form and you might just become an expert exerciser.

Diet or exercise question? Email me at or text me at 864-494-6215. David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 29 years.