You know the saying , “No pain, no gain?”
(or how about “Pain is weakness leaving the body” – that’s my personal favorite…Not)
It really is inaccurate.
This is not to say you shouldn’t experience some discomfort or venture outside your comfort zone during your workouts.
Of course, you should push yourself!
Heck, yeah, you are going to be uncomfortable!
However, exercise should never be painful (save that for real life ventures like moving your in-laws largest piece of furniture around to help them redecorate.)
You know the difference between “that doesn’t feel right” kind of hurt and the “ouch, that’s hard!” kind of hurt.
Most educated trainers and fitness pros are now smart enough to understand that pushing through the pain only leads to more pain … and worse, injury.
Here are a few things that your workouts should include to help you move better, feel good, get stronger and help your body last a long time and not wear down prematurely.
Dynamic Warmup: This is the part of the workout that many people skip, but it’s honestly the last thing that should be neglected. Preparing your body for movement is the most important part of the workout. An effective dynamic warmup should encompass all the foundational movement patterns, increase the heart rate and tissue temperature and prepare the central nervous system for the activities ahead. Step No. 1: Don’t skip the warmup.
Prehab/Corrective exercises: These are exercises that strengthen often neglected muscle groups and promote soft tissue health in order to enhance the freedom of movement and prevent injury. These are usually the small muscle groups or movement patterns that aren’t included in the training session.
Mobility: Stretching and mobility are not the same thing. Mobility exercises enhance the freedom of movement through the joints, whereas stretching involves reducing muscle stiffness. Both improve flexibility. Is one better than the other? No; our bodies need both.
Cooldown: Whereas the warmup involves dynamic movement, the cooldown is about calming the central nervous system, lowering the heart rate and bringing the body back to homeostasis.
Setting aside a few minutes to cool down after a workout signals to the body that it’s time to start the recovery process. A tough workout tears down muscle tissue; it’s during the rest and recovery between workouts when the rebuilding happens.
So don’t get caught up in the mentality of “no pain, no gain.”
Incorporate the above steps before, during and after your workouts and you’ll be well on the way to healthy, pain-free gains.