There are a few things you can do to make sure that you’re doing exercises correctly.
Firstly, make sure that you know what muscle groups you want to work during an exercise. All exercises have to have a purpose to be effective and specific to your needs. For example, if you want to work on your knee control, it is important that you work on your quadriceps, in particular the inside muscle of the quadriceps (the VMO muscle), the major stabilisers of the knee cap. Do your research or ask a professional such as a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist to ensure that you work on the correct muscle groups.
Secondly, learn what a normal muscle “working” sensation feels like and what is pain. When a muscle is working, you should feel a slight “burning” sensation in the muscle you are targeting, which disappears when you stop the exercise. You should not feel a “pain” sensation in tendons of the muscles, in the joint or in different muscles that you are targeting. In addition, the next day or two, a normal sensation can be a soreness or bruised-like sensation. This is called DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness), and is part of the normal muscle growth process after exercise. It should not be painful in the area or the joint the day or two after exercise.
Thirdly, technique is also very important. The way you do an exercise can make the difference between a great day exercise and an ineffective exercise.
To address all these three issues, ask a professional physiotherapist or exercise physiologist to design and supervise your program, at least at the start to ensure you are getting exactly what you want from your program with correct form, technique and purpose.
Written by: Michael Dermansky – Senior Physiotherapist
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