CONSTANT VIGILANCE

28 Aug

Attending a gym that is a boot camp/HIIT/crossfit training sort, I am always exposed to new movements. Learning new movements is exciting in a way that has me giddy like a 16 year old on a date. When I walk in the doors of JTS , I grab a foam roller and read the whiteboard as I walk towards a spot to sit, stretch, and roll out (usually) tight or sore muscles. In the event that I see a foreign movement written up there, I attempt to recall if I’ve ever tried it before; and I search my long library of movements stored away with millions of song lyrics, recipes, and math equations. This is not always an easy feat at 5:45 am. Occasionally a new word for an action ends up being a variation of something I’ve done before. I think of new movements as new opportunities to functionally use and develop my strength and endurance. I love a challenge and learning new ways to use my body for more awesomeness than I realized. Sometimes I make a fool of myself. But no matter how many times I stumble on a box jump or hit myself in the face with a wall ball, I laugh it off and continue on.

At the beginning of the workouts, a trainer explains how the workout is set up– reps, rounds, tabata and whatnot. Then each movement is demonstrated by a knowledgeable member as a review of proper form or to show new people what to do. Even things like push ups and squats that seem simple enough are demonstrated, because no matter how much of a fitness veteran you are, proper form must always be a forefront priority to get the most out of every movement and to prevent injury.

So to quote good ol’ Mad Eye Moody (or should I say Barty Crouch Jr.) CONSTANT VIGILANCE is needed in any type of exercise you do. Even if some things come naturally, always pay attention.

Running? Pay attention to your posture and step. Yoga? Pay attention to your breathing and using the correct muscles. Lifting? Pay attention to your form, from eyes to toes.

CONSTANT VIGILANCE
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I learned how to do kettlebell swings long ago. Since then, I’ve become familiar with the many components to a kettlebell swing. It’s a quick and powerful movement. I’ve slowly built up to using a 53 pound kettlebell. Recently my trainer caught me using my quads and less of my hamstrings to make the heavier weight doable. I was letting my knees go passed my ankles. Even though I was reciting in my head the different elements to make my form perfect (natural neck, natural neck, butt back, butt back, and thrust, thrust, shoulders back shoulders back) I had, in my weariness, forgotten to pay attention to where my knees were. CONSTANT VIGILANCE. Thankfully I have fantastic trainers who look out for the newbies and the “veterans” during every workout.

Ever catch yourself or have it pointed out that you’re doing something a little (or really) incorrectly? What were you doing? Always take advice (from someone knowledgeable) as a learning opportunity.

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