5 Exercise Basics Everyone Should Know


5 Exercise Basics Everyone Should Know by Andrew Schaeffer from Utmost

It’s the new year, which is primetime for gyms around the country. If you are one of the many that have made getting in shape a 2018 resolution, here are a few things to know about exercise.

1. Soreness Is Not The Goal

If it has been a while since your last workout then you are probably going to be sore, and that’s ok. However, contrary to common belief being sore is not so much an indicator of a good workout as a sign that your muscles were not prepared for what you had them do. This is why you get sore far more easily and intensely if you haven’t workout out in a while. A well balanced and carefully structured workout program will usually keep soreness mild or non-existent. That’s not a sign the workout isn’t effective, just that it is appropriate.

2. Flexibility Is Not The Same As Mobility
Most people know that flexibility is good. However, being flexible doesn’t necessarily mean that you move well. Moving well, known as mobility, is about being able to get in and out of different positions effectively and while it involves flexibility, it also requires strength, coordination, and control. Another way to think about it is that flexibility refers to how far a muscle can stretch. Mobility is whether or not your can get those muscles to effectively perform a movement, like a squat or a deadlift. If you want to deadlift for example, you need flexible hamstrings, but make no mistake, having flexible hamstrings doesn’t necessarily mean you can deadlift.
exercise weight lifting
3. Strength, Power, And Endurance Are Different
You know it intuitively but you’ve probably never stopped to think about it. Namely, your muscles can perform in a variety of ways. They can produce a lot of force, like when you try to push a car out of the snow (strength), they can produce a lot of power, like when you serve a tennis ball (power), or they can go for a very long time, like when you run a marathon (endurance). What you need to know for your exercise is that you can’t train all three very effectively at the same time. Distance running will give your legs a lot of endurance but only small amounts of strength and power. Heavy squats will give your legs a lot of strength, but only small amounts of power or endurance. Jumping will train power, but not as much strength or endurance. You get the picture.
4. One Size Does Not Fit All
Want to know something interesting about strength, power, and endurance? People have varying abilities to produce them. That’s because your muscles are composed of fiber types that each perform differently and how much of each type you have depends largely on your genetics. The upshot of this is that some people are better at certain things than others and their bodies also respond differently to different exercise. You might do the exact same thing as your workout partner, but while they seem to transform, you feel like nothing is happening at all. It’s not necessarily because you aren’t working as hard, it’s because your body isn’t the same.
5. It Takes Time
As you may have noticed from numbers two, three, and four the body is more complicated than many realize. That can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t mean that fitness is hard, just that is takes time. Don’t succumb to the idea that you should change overnight. It’s like learning a skill or building a career. You start at the bottom with the basics and then build on it over weeks, months, and years. Sometimes things will go well, other times they won’t, but you’ve just got to keep heading in the right direction. Have patience with yourself – it’s a long-term journey.
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