Soft lift-off; soft landing

3 pt curlThere are basically three aspects of quality execution when it comes to strength training:

1. Posture (correct positioning of the stabilized portion of your body, i.e., keeping your body straight while doing push-ups)

2. Bio mechanics (maintaining the proper line of full-range movement throughout the lift)

3. Fluidity (slow, controlled, even rhythm movements)

By far the least frequently observed by strength trainers, in my experience, is the last one. It’s common for people lifting weights to swing or bounce the weight, and the most flagrant violation of the rule of fluidity is at the transition point, or the point at which you change direction. The incentive to get a quick start on the positive (more difficult) phase of the exercise is that doing so allows you to handle more weight, squeeze off more reps, or both. But that’s always at the expense of the joints. Is that what you really want to do?

When you are releasing the weight (the less difficult phase of the movement), be sure to slow down progressively as you approach the transition point (landing). You should try to make the actual stopping point as subtle as possible for maximum safety and effectiveness. Then when you begin the positive phase (lift-off), just reverse the process, initiating the movement as gently as possible. Lifting this way will ensure you get the absolute most out of the exercise, and save your joints from injury at the same time.

Be advised, though, that you will not be able to handle as much weight as you did with less strict form. Get over it and drop the load to what you can handle executing this way. You’re much better off in terms of safety and effectiveness.

And that’s what’s really important, isn’t it?

Learn more about how to get and stay in great shape? Contact Dan at Tri Valley Trainer

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