One of the biggest factors that determine whether or not you’ll see the results you want comes down to two words: lifting technique. More specifically, creating tension. If you want to start seeing your efforts pay off, it’s time to learn that it’s not always what exercises you do, but how you do them.
Here are some of the things you can try right away to start ensuring optimal tension for all of the exercises you perform:
1️⃣ Steer clear of machines and isolation exercises for just a little while. But don’t let that message confuse you; there’s nothing wrong with machines, and they can be great tools and extremely effective at delivering results. But they can also let you “get away” with a lack of tension by providing external support. So if you can learn tension, then every exercise you perform - including the machine work - will become more effective.
2️⃣ Perform fewer reps per set - at least initially. Coaches agree that while improving full-body tension will eventually second-nature, early on it will make everything feel more difficult, so no need to increase the risk of error by doing more reps. .
👉 Full-body tension may sound like a lot to learn - after all, you have more than 600 muscles - but nearly all of the cues you’re going to learn come down to five areas: Your shoulders, core, butt, feet, and grip. If you were to scan just those five things on every exercise, and made sure they are engaged, you’ll make a lot of progress right away.
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