Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Importance of Doing It Correctly

I came across this article in the NY Times about the rising rate of injuries due to strength training.  The Times story cites a study that was in the April issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine.  According to the observational study, the rate of strength training injuries increased by 48% from 1990 to 2007.  Men accounted for 82% of the injuries...of course.  That is what you would expect out of men, who generally are lifting heavier weights, and usually spend about ten seconds learning proper technique.  The fact that women had a lower overall rate of injuries, reflects their conservative approach and plainly their much lower rate of participation in strength training (because they don't want to bulk up and tone, that is waste their time with 5 and 10 pound dumbells and BOSU balls).  Though, the study reports that the rate of injury in women is steadily climbing as the overall participation in strength training increases among women over the last two decades. 

Strength training should be taken seriously.  In order to receive the full benefits of strength training, you need to know what you are doing.  Invest in some training to learn how to do it the correct way.  It is concerning now that kettlebells are becoming mainstream and sold in places like Wal-mart and Target.  Proper technique is vital to your results and safety when using kettlebells.  I would propose that 9/10 people who pick up a kettlebell at the gym (that I am not training) have less than desirable techniques. 

Speaking of doing it the correct way, check out the video below of Maya Garcia of The Ice Chamber in Richmond, California teaching a proper kettlebell push press.


Anonymous said...

great video...when ya gonna paint some pink??? How heavy was that one she was using???

Dan Hubbard, M.Ed. said...

I am not going to paint any of my kettlebells pink! I believe she was using an American Kettlebell Club (AKC) competetion kettlebell. All competition kettlebells are of the same diameter, but vary in weight. The pink is 8kg (18lb). I am sure she could lift easily lift more than that, but was simply demonstrating.

tom said...

That was a good article. Lots of people give lip service to using "proper form" on exercises, but few of them take the time to learn it or consult someone like you who can teach it. Fewer still realize that most adults have flexibility problems that prevent them from using proper form even if they try.

There's lots of cheerleading on the web for squatting, deadlifting (and other movements), but little notice that flexibility training goes hand in hand with strength training.

I suppose my point is: most people want to use proper form, and they try their best, but they don't realize their flexibility is insufficient.

I'd like to see every "novices must squat" article tempered by the caution that they must stretch too.

Dan Hubbard, M.Ed. said...

Tom, thanks for your comment. You are so right! Proper form is vital and proper form means adequate joint range of motion and joint stability. Very few people want to spend time on technique work or mobility (flexibilty) exercises. They want to jump right into it. Exercises like the squat and deadlift can be dangerous if done incorrectly. I spend a lot of time 'practicing' the lifts and keep up with hip and shoulder mobility with myself and clients.