February 10, 2023
Exercise modifications have a bad reputation. They are often associated with “easy” workouts, being weak or unable to do something . However, in reality, modifications are just exercise variations that are more accessible and that suit your body and fitness level better. Completing an modified exercise is always better than completing no exercise at all. Here are three of our favourite exercise modifications that you NEED to know.
Decrease The Weight
We love strength training and lifting weights, but despite how much we enjoy lifting heavy we NEVER COMPROMISE ON FORM OR TECHNIQUE. Lifting a load that is too heavy for your ability will only lead to injuries and pain – or not growing the muscles you're targeting. If you are unable to perform an exercise with proper form, decrease the amount of weight you are using until you are confident with your technique and feeling the move work the right places. In general, you should choose a weight that will allow you to complete 8-12 reps with good form.
Decrease The Range of Motion
Taking your muscles through the full range of motion of an exercise is beneficial for building strength and encouraging muscle growth. However, there are times when the full range of motion may not be accessible due to an injury, lack of mobility or improper form. In these situations, decreasing the range of motion may be the best way to go. For example, this will allow you to work the same muscle groups in a more comfortable and safer way. As you gain strength and develop better movement patterns, you can gradually work towards the full range of motion. A few examples of this modification include a small step up instead of a box, not going so deep while doing lunges, or completing push-ups from your knees.
Decrease The Impact
Although great for developing athleticism, exercises with plyometric components such as squat jumps or clapping push-ups can be challenging. These high-impact movements add more stress to your body and may not be suitable if you already struggle with joint pain or have an injury. You can modify these exercises by removing the dynamic components and decreasing the intensity. For example, try squatting in place instead of doing a squat jump or do regular push-ups rather than clapping push-ups. Bands are also a great addition to low-impact workouts because they increase the intensity without the impact. You can still get a great workout without overdoing the wear and tear on your joints!
Exercise modification is not a sign of weakness. Instead, it’s about listening to your body and checking in with how you feel. Adapting your workouts to suit your needs in the moment ultimately leads to better results, fewer injuries, increased motivation and longevity. So, put that ego aside and embrace it! If you ever had a question about modifications, drop it in the comments below, message us on Instagram or post it to our members-only Facebook group.
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