Summary: In the fitness world, there has always been a focus on lifting maximum weight, known as maxing out. While this approach can be effective in building strength, it neglects other important aspects of fitness such as movement patterns and range of motion. Movement over maxes prioritizes proper form and full range of motion in exercises over the amount of weight lifted. Here are some key aspects to consider when adopting this approach.
1. Focus on Functional Movement
Movement over maxes emphasizes functional movement, which is movments that mimic daily activities. This approach prioritizes movements that are natural for our bodies and help us in our everyday lives. For example, squats mimic the motion of sitting down and standing up, which is something we do countless times a day. By determining functional movements like this, we can better train our bodies for our daily lives.
Focusing on functional movement also helps to prevent injury. When we move in a natural way, we put less stress on joints and muscles. This can help to reduce the risk of injuries during exercise and in everyday life.
Finally, functional movement is beneficial for athletes. Many sports require specific, functional movements, such as sprinting or jumping in basketball. Training these movements can help improve athletic performance and reduce the risk of injury during gameplay.
2. Proper Form for Optimal Muscle Engagement
When lifting maximum weights, often proper form is sacrificed in order to move the weight. This can lead to less-than-optimal muscle engagement and even injury. When focusing on movement over maxes, good form and full range of motion are prioritized, leading to better results.
Using proper form while exercising ensures that the targeted muscle group is being fully engaged throughout the movement. When incorrect form is used, other muscle groups are often recruited to compensate, leading to less activation of the intended muscle group. By prioritizing proper form and full range of motion, exercise becomes more targeted and effective.
Additionally, using proper form during exercise can lead to injury prevention. When we exercise with good form, our bodies are able to move in a natural and safe way, reducing the risk of strain or injury. Focusing on movement over maxes can help keep your body safe and healthy.
3. Variety in Exercises
Maxing out often means lifting as much weight as possible for one or two exercises, which can lead to a lack of variety in workouts. Movement over maxes emphasizes a wide variety of exercises, allowing you to train many different muscle groups in various ways.
Variety in exercises is important for preventing boredom and keeping exercise fun, but it also has physical benefits. When we do the same exercises repeatedly, our bodies adapt and the exercises become less challenging. This typically leads to plateaus in fitness progress. By mixing up your exercise routine, you can keep your body challenged and continue to see improvements in strength and fitness.
Furthermore, doing different exercises helps to ensure that all muscle groups are worked equally. When we only focus on maxing out in a few exercises, some muscle groups may be neglected. By incorporating a variety of exercises, you can ensure that all muscle groups are being engaged and developed properly.
4. Prioritize Recovery
In the traditional maxing out approach, there is often little emphasis on recovery. However, recovery is essential for allowing muscles and joints to rest and rebuild after exercise. Movement over maxes places a higher importance on recovery.
Proper recovery includes getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and practicing active recovery such as stretching or yoga. When we prioritize recovery, we allow our bodies to heal and prepare for the next workout. This can help prevent injury and reduce soreness after exercise.
Additionally, prioritizing recovery can actually improve fitness gains. By allowing our bodies to properly recover, we are able to train harder during workouts, leading to more strength and muscle growth over time.
Movement over maxes is a fitness approach that prioritizes proper form, full range of motion, functional movement, variety in exercises, and recovery. By adopting this approach, you can improve your fitness gains while reducing the risk of injury. Prioritizing functional movement can also lead to improved athletic performance and better preparation for everyday life. If you’re looking to switch up your fitness routine or prioritize safety and proper form, give movement over maxes a try!