Regress to progress. Not all exercises are suitable for all people, all of the time. As humbling as it is, sometimes we have to regress an exercise or movement for a variety of reasons in order to strengthen neuromuscular control, to restrict compensatory movement patterns and to avoid overloading a specific area without building the load specifically over time amongst others. This morning I was targeting my deltoids with weights and found my left side was struggling big time on one particular exercise so I dropped the weight right down to only 1kg so I could really focus on the correct recruitment, timing and control of the muscle without my upper trapezius and neck muscles compensating. I understand that many of us are time short and when we take the time to exercise or work out we want to give it our everything. I could have done the exercise with a heavier weight but I recognise that I'm providing a new load to my deltoids and I need to slowly build up the load over time so my body can become adaptive and stronger, rather than struggling through with other muscles taking over and not getting the outcome in the long term that I'm looking for. I'm in this body for the long haul and I believe any training programs main priority should be on priming the body to be as capable and efficient as possible in order to do all of the human things we need to do. There's no point in pushing through when your body hasn't adapted to it, it only increases your chances of injury which will not get you closer to your goals. Whether those goals are to lift heavier, to nail a yoga posture, to run a marathon or to do a triathlon the key is to build up your tolerance and the load over time, so your body can adapt at a steady rate to the loads you are placing on it. All too often we go in too heavy which can end up actually slowing us down in the long run and make our goals seem even further away.
Advanced clinical massage therapist and yoga teacher.