Why I started this

 I returned to the gym this month after a considerable absence and I was reminded why I started down this anatomical journey.

I came from an exercise background and I felt that people were maybe missing out on the possibilities of exercise because they didn’t have a complete understanding of their bodies.

Boy was I reminded of that this week!

I went into the gym with the intention of just doing my own little workout but quickly got drawn into the observation of others. (You know what gyms are like.)

The person to my side took quite a bit of observation. Was that a plank? Was that a push up?  I honestly couldn’t tell.  If you can’t do a press up, and God knows a lot of us can’t, then there are other ways to work your chest.  Maybe they would have been better off doing those.

The two people to my other side were the epitome of what I was hoping to help resolve.  The two of them were doing lunges.  They started with normal lunges, only one of the participants was maybe demonstrating 10 or 15 degrees of motion.  They then decided this was too easy so did it with weights in each hand and then progressed to Bulgarian split lunges with their back leg raised off of the ground.  Nothing wrong with that, a normal progression through the possibilities with lunges.  If you can only demonstrate 10 degrees of movement at your knee joint with a lunge then why make it harder following a progression like that?  Why not just add more motion to the basic exercise?  If you have some pathology that means you can’t get a greater range of motion then don’t pile weights on it?  Or maybe you don’t appreciate what the exercise is doing.  You don’t have the understanding to work around it.

The last case – and the real epitome, if you can have two – was the person who was doing what I have recreated in the picture at the top.  Lying on their side they were raising their leg.  I presume they were working on their leg adductors.  They progressed this by adding a weight.  Look where the weight is.  They added the weight to above the fulcrum of the motion.  That position is above the belly of the muscle they are trying to work.  That weight is doing nothing!  Maybe they were training for some new sport of balancing weights on their hips and this was a thoroughly thought out gym session.  I suspect not!  I suspect that they don’t actually know which muscles they are trying to work and hence have no idea how to progress it.

Back to the gym next week.  My greatest exercise at the moment is trying to keep my mouth shut.

Author: Anatomy Fundamentals

Janet Philp has spent a lifetime exploring fitness and wellbeing. Starting in group exercise, travelling through rugby to representing the UK at martial arts before including Yoga, meditation, Budokon and personal instruction. Her passion is anatomical function and educating people to use their bodies to their full potential.

One thought on “Why I started this”

  1. Why keep your mouth shut? I approached a guy in Starbucks the other day who had his neck at about 50 degrees to the vertical, hanging it over his laptop. “Yes” he said, he did sometimes get neck ache. When I pointed out it could be due to the weight of his head hanging forward, he asked me “Are you saying I’ve got a fat head?” He was large in every department, and although he had heavy jowls, I indicated that even without the fat on his head, it was probably a bad postural alignment to have his neck in. He told me to fxxx oxx, and I obliged, feeling so please that I had offered my professional opinion. Hmmm, maybe that’s why you keep your mouth shut?


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