What seems odd in the gym is often closer to real life scenarios
What does that mean? Often in real life, we aren’t moving as we would in a gym. We are not sitting on a machine, sending a weight through a guided path or resisting the load of a symmetrical barbell. Real life looks more like turning around with a squirming child in our arms, carrying uneven shopping bags or lifting up a couch and craning awkwardly to see if our phone dropped beneath.
Whole different kettle of fish of course if you work as a tradesperson and you’re bearing the weight of steal rods whilst you navigate over stairs and platforms or the likes. Athletes need to be able to turn, move, jump, reach and land safely.
It’s in these situations that our body needs to be at it’s best function and where energy leaks or dysfunctional movement patterns put us at risk of injury. Therefore, sitting on the same machine and doing the same exercises will not serve you.Even using the same attachments on cables etc will wear paths of stress through our bodies. Repeating the same program with the same exercises month in, month out, year round will not serve you well. Variation, second to correct form in strength training is the best way to avoid injury. See the below simple tips for looking after yourself.
An effective and consistent mobility practice will also go a long way to preventing injury as well as performing your overall performance and strength.
As it relates to sport:
Athletes know if they simple practice their sport and that is all they put their body through, they are putting themselves at greater risk.
Swimmers avoid ‘swimmers shoulder’ by challenging the tissue through various resistance exercises they wouldn’t just do in the pool, they employ ‘dryland training.’ Putting on muscle through resistance exercise has great value across most sports to improve explosive power and avoid injury.
Movement example: the deadlift
Try altering your foot position, move them slightly wider out perhaps or stagger your stance, try single leg dead lifting. You want a multifaceted approach, you will engage your core even more by using different weights. Do so with the same care and attention to technique you normally would.
Your program/ training
Depending on your age, hormonal profile and genetics; You want to change your program about every 4-10 weeks. This could be changing your back squat to a front or goblet squat, swopping in walking lunges for static lunges or split squats, adopting a dumbbell bench press over barbell or changing your grip or attachment on the cable seated row. Note, you are still including the basics, the basics are the most effective. You are adding in variety though.