Repetitive movements- This you need to know!


Last week, I shook the left hand of a right-handed person. The right hand was in a cast. That hand had been operated on to fix a torn ligament. What does this have to do with you?

This individual loved sports, particularly fencing. This sport requires constant repetitive, explosive front-and-back movements. Because of the nature of this sport, it is common to have injuries in the hand, wrist and knee. Other sports have their injuries: For baseball players, it is the shoulder, hip and ankles and for golfers, the lower back, hip and knees. Even everyday repetitive movements can have an effect on your skeleton, muscles and ligaments.

Repetitive movement causes wear and tear. Think about the following: what happens if you take an oval stone and twist it against a piece of wood for 20 years? The wood would grind away and the stone would hardly lose any of its material. The stone is equivalent to your bones and the wood, to your ligaments. After years–sometimes months–of the same repetitive motion, ligaments tear or grind away.

It is not uncommon for individuals in their 30’s, 40’s and up to be injured, but I’ve seen individuals who are doing the same workout routine get injured even after a short period of 6 months. The enthusiasm to stay active, prevent loss of lean muscle tissue and the urge to feel better keeps us going into the gym. But sitting on the same machines day in and day out, moving your body parts in the same directions, planes and resistance may not be best for you.

Change your routine. One of the simple strategies is to do something completely different. Are your workouts a routine? If so, when you work out, no matter which routine, sports or practice you chose you will do the same motion over and over again. Mix it up: Choose kickboxing instead of yoga, use free weights on a ball instead of a barbell on a bench or use rubber bands instead of free weights. And change the movement to work the same muscle group.

When you work out, think beyond the muscles you’re working. The axis of movement should be your concern. The axis is where the rotation occurs during a movement. For example, the axis of a biceps curl is your elbow and the axis of a squat is your hip and knees. Yet if the squat is not executed correctly, and you bend forward with your upper body instead of bending your legs deeply enough, the axis becomes your lower back (ouch).

Change your thinking from movement to axis analysis to prevent injuries and wear and tear. Switch your routines, resistance, speed, rests, repetitions and sets consistently and incorporate new movements. And go into outdoors—the environment is not climate controlled (think refreshing breezes) and the surface is not regular (think hills, stairs, boulders). Working outside prevents boredom, you see the seasons change and get some fresh air. If my right-handed fellow had only known this information and had been able to supplement his routine program with other movements, I would have shaken the right hand instead of the left.

Kind regards,


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Stefan Aschan is a leading expert on lifestyle, health and fitness who has helped more than 30,000 people get fit through advice on nutrition, fitness and lifestyle changes. For your free “How to live 100 years in perfect health” report and the must read “updates and solution” newsletter on how to have 10 times more success, stay on top of your goals, and accomplish the change of body and appearance,” visit http://www.theaustrianadvantage.com/e-book1001.htm

Categories : Exercise

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