When it comes to executing any exercise properly, attention needs to be paid towards these three things:
What happens if we don’t pay attention to tension?
There needs to be stiffness in certain areas, while adequate mobility needs to be demonstrated as well. This sounds contradictory in nature, yes, but the ability to express tension while maintaining adequate levels of mobility is imperative to success – whether you are dancing, powerlifting, or performing any calisthenics or other athletic maneuvers.
What happens if you don’t properly progress?
If you are at level 1 in terms of an exercise, how many reps does it take to get to the next level? How many sets? How long do you have to do it?
I’ve been doing push-ups as long as I can remember. Back squatting since I was 21 – I just turned 28 and I’m still squatting. So while foundational exercises will remain in exercise programs for years on end, progression can be defined in several ways.
While it is a bit esoteric to identify the requisite steps that are necessary to improve on a biomechanical level, there are other ways to improve from a physiological loading perspective:
- Load (Weight Used)
- Duration (Time Under Tension, eg eccentric, isometric, concentric, reactivity)
- Volume (Manipulating how many reps you perform over a given duration of time.)
- Equipment (Sometimes you need certain equipment in order to improve or progress!)
So manipulating these variables and more will improve upon your current “levels” with respect to where you are at from a fitness point of view.
From an exercise point of view, making sure you are in the correct biomechanical position will be imperative when executing any exercise.
So where does this lead us? If you follow these three principles of tension, progression, and position, and if you have a specific goal in mind, you can accomplish a lot, because now all that needs to be done is the execution of the exercise itself.
Lucky for y’all, I have a new article out on T-Nation which gives you the proper progression, positioning, and tensioning techniques necessary to perform a dragonflag, which has been popularized by Bruce Lee and Rocky (from the movies).
Looking forward to everyone crushing it towards the end of your summer!
Keep it funky.