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When Good Momentum Goes Bad

When it comes to hitting the gym, momentum is a good thing. Mentally it gets you there, and it keeps you day in and day out. Just be sure that your momentum is mental and not physical when it comes to your actual workout.

Slow controlled movements moved by a muscle (or group of muscles) are what builds strength and benefits the body, not momentum. Swinging arms or legs (or whatever it is you're working) not only defeats the purpose of resistance training in the first place, but it also puts you at risk for injury. Hence, the name weight lifting, not weight swinging. If you're finding that you feel the need to swing a weight to complete a movement, you're probably lifting too much weight. If you're on the treadmill and your legs are moving fast, but you don't really feel like you're working, it's time to pump up the incline. The belt on the treadmill can help propel your feet along and while this momentum does wonders for your ego, it's not doing nearly as much for your health.


Join The Conversation
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
I agree and I see this all the time. The swinging arms especially. Slow controlled movements are the most affective. Thats why I recommend working out with someone if you cant afford a trainer get a buddy. I'm a certified trainer and still I work with my boyfriend no shame in needing help :)
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Yea, ANY second I put my hands on the bars on the side of the treamill because I am getting tired one of the trainers yells "C'om Ashley! You're 20!!! You don't need that!!!" Hahaha yea....
syako syako 9 years
I see this too. I even see it in Pilates class. Some people just swing their way through class. There are even a few girls who have been going for months and use momentum for every move - I overheard them talking to the instructor recently wondering why they never get sore or see results - luckily she told them that they need to do the moves correctly and without momentum. Since then they've stopped going - maybe the real way was too hard? Don't know.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I wish more people knew this. I see so many people at the gym trying to strength train and they know nothing about resistance. They just let their arms flail around and wonder why they're seeing no results. Slow and steady wins the race! ;)
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