Are You An Incompetent Exerciser?
When patients ask me if they can do an exercise on their own I always have the same response: “yes, but only if you can do it right”.
Go to any gym and you’ll see the majority of people doing the wrong exercises correctly or the right exercises incorrectly. The wrong exercises are simply not what the person needs; more sit-ups, more shrugs, more bench press (another article on that later). The right exercises are exactly what the person needs, but when done incorrectly they either make matters worse or are just ineffective. Repeatedly performing exercises incorrectly grooves these patterns more deeply into the nervous system making, making it even more difficult to fix later on.
And most people don’t move correctly. Not because they’re dumb or lazy. Simply because they’ve never been taught how to do them correctly and don’t have the body awareness to correct themselves.
A perfect example: the row. When done correctly the rowing motion is an excellent way to counteract the all too common forward hunched posture. But most people are so set in their forward posture that when rowing they default into the very hunched position that they are trying to solve. Now instead of fixing their poor posture they are reinforcing it!
Rows are excellent for correcting hunched posture. But if you hunch while doing them, they can make the problem worse.
incompetent. No, that’s not an insult. It’s just the first of the four stages of learning.
When you’re first learning a skill you’re unconsciously incompetent. That means you don’t know how to do it right and even if you did you wouldn’t know how to fix it. That’s where the people in the gym doing hunched over rows are.
Then you move to conscious incompetence. This is where you know you’re doing it wrong but you don’t know how to fix it.
In the conscious competence stage you can do the skill correctly but only when you focus.
When you reach unconscious competence you can do a skill correctly without even thinking about it. Like walking. Or eating. Or texting while driving (just kidding, I sure hope not).
Most people in the gym are unconsciously incompetent of their technique. This means they are doing exercises incorrectly and they don’t even know it.
Exercising incorrectly is at best ineffective, at worst self destructive. If you’re incompetent at the movements you’re attempting (again, no offense) then you’re not getting the most out of your workouts. If you’re competent then you can build muscle, boost your metabolism, increase performance, correct posture, increase mobility, and all of the other wonderful things that exercise can do for you.
Do any of those things sound nice to you? Then get a coach that knows technique. That’s what our movement therapy program is all about. We clear out any imbalances, inflexibilities, and poor movement patterns that might eventually lead to injury. Then we train proper technique in fundamental movement patterns. Then you can go work out how you like and reap all the benefits.
Sound cool? Come check us out. Sound lame? Then train with someone else. But invest in a coach that will teach you how to move well. Because to live well, you have to move well.
To YOUR health!
Movement is Health,
Dr. Christian Barney D.C., D.A.B.C.O., C.C.S.P., ART
How can Performance Health & Wellness help you?
- Active Release Technique (ART) to the soft tissue structures to restore normal function, decrease stress to the injured area, reduce scar tissue, and promote healing;
- Stretching and Exercises to prevent condition from returning;
- Chiropractic adjustments to restore proper motion;
- Cold laser to help reduce inflammation;
- Kinesio taping to allow an athlete to continue to particpate in his sport plus augments the treatment.
- Functional medicine with extensive nutritional based consultation, individualized nutrition programs.