Do you like to go to the gym and you want to exercise healthily so that your body wouldn’t hurt you? Or you just want advice on how to exercise correctly?
Most clients of fit centers exercise their abdominal muscles, because everyone thinks that their abs are weakened… then they exercise the spinal erectors, that is where they lay on the stomach on a bench bend their backs few times, and then they continue to exercise the knee flexors and buttocks muscles.
BASIC MOVEMENT PATTERNS AND CNS
To strengthen, or correct the timing of individual muscles, we must take a look from another angle. From the physiotherapeutic point of view, we are interested in muscle coordination / muscle groups, so there is a correct coordination in the executed movements, and with that we achieve the correct muscle strength. Repeatedly appropriate timing and muscle strength will result in the formation of the bones, shape the joint surfaces and the shape of the muscular abdomen. There is a popular saying in physiotherapy: "Function forms an organ." But our brain does not take understand it very much.
The central nervous system (CNS = spinal cord and brain) can not evaluate the activity of individual muscles, basically the muscles "cannot even see". The CNS is able to work in the so-called movement patterns, from which it then composes its own moves. These sequences are similar, genetically prescribed, but they differ in the details of execution of each individual.
We differ from each other by a detailed coordination of the movement and muscular involvement, (the so-called muscle timing). For example: you want to exercise the biceps muscle (two-headed arm muscle). Sit down, place your elbows on the armrest of the gym device, hold a dumbbell, rubber band, or anything that will create resistance against bending of your elbow. If you hold your shoulders far from your ears, and you pull your shoulder blades down, and keeping them in an angle tilted to the sides (as if you want to extend your shoulders) then the bending of the elbow together with the strengthening of the biceps will probably be done correctly. Usually the setting of the shoulder blade - the humerus - the forearm is not in the ideal setting, so the trapezius muscle and the neck muscles are lifted and overloaded and they should not participate in the bending of the elbow. Together with the activation of these muscles, the muscles will also be activated automatically (for example, pushing the shoulder forward will be supported by the pectoralis major muscle - chest muscle). The complications and detailed errors, lead to muscle overload, joint deflection, and thus damage of the musculoskeletal system, can be seen in practice from the physiotherapeutic point of view.
Genetic determination of the movement patterns (each of us is born with movement programs in the CNS) is causing that in a certain month we spin our head in a certain range of movement and use for it specific muscles - movement patterns. In a later month we spin our stomach, we sit up, stand up and walk forward. These movement patterns are genetically given to us and they are specific for each living organism (human, dog, mouse,...).
Essential significance of the emergence and subsequent fixation of these patterns is the early period of our psychomotor development, i.e. the period from birth to the third year of life. Of which the first six months are the most important, that is when the quality of the ongoing development of the child is deciding on the quality of the so-called dynamic stabilization of joints and spine. Of course the major role is played by the subsequent movement experience which does not change the basic movement patterns anymore, but it can significantly modify them.
WHAT EXACTLY SHOULD WE EXERCISE THEN?
A useful task of our exercise is to work with a suitably chosen starting position, or alternatively perform in the position complex movements. Even though we aim the moves on a specific body part, which we want to strengthen, we must exercise them within the framework of general body posture. The movements can be quite small. Sometimes it is preferable to just attain stability in the starting position, e.g. using the intra-abdominal pressure to protect the intervertebral discs when we straighten the spine, then we can increase the activity of the back muscles. The emphasis is not placed on how to perform the exercise (i.e. in this case the maximum bend in the lower back, when exercising the back in a lying position on the stomach on the bench). We focus on how our body "works inside". It is therefore important to learn to listen to your own body. The opposite is isolated exercising of the individual muscles, when we completely neglect the functional involvement of the given muscle.
DON’T FORGET TO STRETCH
Part of every exercising should be apart from any physical activity, also a correct stretching. We should not forget to stretch the often underestimated muscles. This way we will prevent any possible painful injuries, which will only complicate the situation which can even disqualify us from any physical activity for a long period of time. Here we offer your video instruction on how to stretch your buttock muscles and trapezius muscles.
Inadequate burden, absence of some exercised parts, incorrect technique of the execution, incorrect training, missing or too long pauses and many other mistakes, which people commit on a daily basis. The instructions for few of our specific exercises can be found in article Correct strengthening exercises.
Author: FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic
Source: Pavel Švejcar - Moderní fyziotrénink/ Modern physiotraining
Clinical experience from private practice in physiotherapeutic field, FYZIOklinika