How often do you stop and think about how you want to perform an exercise and if that is conducive to your goals? Our physical therapy patients here in Bethesda often have the goal of learning to train without pain or discomfort. Training clients, most concerned with sports performance may have goals that include becoming stronger, faster, or building muscle mass.
There is not always a “correct” way to perform every exercise. Let’s take the bench press as an example.
Depending on your goals and capabilities, you may want to play around with the angle of your arms when bench pressing.
Is your goal to build big pecs? Perform the lift with the arms closer to 90 degrees and do not allow the arms to drift past the body as you can see in the video here.
Do you want to lift more weight while keeping your shoulders and lower back healthy? If so, perform this lift with the arms closer to 45 degrees to take the stress off the front of the shoulders. Check out this bench press variation here.
This is just one of many exercises that can be altered to change the focus.
The key is being clear on the outcome that you have in mind!