The other week I tweaked a muscle in my back and while it’s been getting better, it has not fully recovered. Whenever I inure myself like this, I alway evaluate why it happened and ask myself if I was missing something that lead to it.

When you’re working out, you want to above all else avoid injuring yourself. Exercise is mean to create strength and well being… never injury.

In my workout reflection, I remembered some small things which I think you need to know about. Some of these are really important… something you should start doing today!

1. Draw Your Stomach In

Drawing in your stomach is vitally important not just for exercise, but as a habit all day long. Let’s first talk about what it means…

Drawing in your stomach is pulling your belly button towards your spine. It’s NOT flexing your stomach.

Flexing is tightening it which means you’re breathing will be altered.

Drawing in your stomach does a few things which are huge for you as you move throughout the day and as you exercise:

Keep your stomach read to pounce. Before you do any movement, your stomach is the first muscle complex to activate. When you draw in your stomach you shorten that activation time which supports your body a lot more.

It improves your posture. Most people have horrible posture and let their stomach plop out. This will curve the spine, roll the shoulder forward, and bring a forward tilt to your hips. Hold your stomach in and everything straightens up.

It gives you confidence. When you draw your stomach in, you stand taller with a better posture. This makes you feel taller, it makes you walk taller, and that feels really good. It’s a huge confidence booster. Plus do this while your sitting and you’ll immediately sit up like you mean business!

Remember most of all it helps support your spine and back because drawing in optimizes you ab activation.

2. Concentrate On Form

Always remember to exercise with good form. It can be a humbling experience to practice good form, realizing you’re weaker than you thought. But with good form you’ll get stronger faster, you’ll burn more fat, and you’ll see better results over all with your body.

A perfect example of this is the simple plank. Most people when doing the plank will slowly let their butts crap up in the air. This pulls the shoulders behind your hands activating your arms muscles as a primary stabilizer and taking stress off your stomach.

But the plank is meant mainly for your stomach and back and core. So by doing this you’re cheating the move. If you can’t hold your plank as long as you thought with great form… no big deal.

You have to start somewhere.

This applies to all exercises as well. Work on form always and you’ll shock yourself how much stronger you become and how much more body fat you end up burning off too.

3. Concentrate on Stretching and Massage

I am extremely guilting of ignoring stretching. However, I think it’s one of the most important parts of being fit.

If you’re flexible then your body will be in much better balance. Your muscles will be properly aligned and recruited by your nervous system.

If you’re not flexible then keep working on it. When you’re not flexible, you create imbalance in movements. This has a ripple down effect on all of your movements and can even place undo stress on joints and increase the risk of injury.

Always start a workout with short bursts of static stretching and dynamic stretching. Then end your workout with longer bouts of static stretching. This will not only help with muscle soreness but it will help with blood flow and tightness.

What about massage?

Get a foam roller. When you build new muscle fibers, they are built in line with the stress. So as long as your muscles are stretched out and not knotted up, you’re in great shape.

But when you have a knot, you put your muscle at risk for improper development.

A foam roller is a great way to workout your knots and keep your muscles in good shape. Plus it feels really good after you roll out. During it will hurt but it’s so worth it.

Remember These Tips As They Will Help You Big Time

These are tips that I have recently put an effort on big time.

Exercise is meant to make you stronger, feel better, make you happier, and healthier. Don’t let it injury you because of careless issues which are easily preventable.

There is nothing worse than working out and getting an injury only to have somebody is in completely out of shape say to you… “See that’s why I don’t workout… it’s too dangerous.”

Give me a break!

Take care of your body and you’ll see your body goals materialize a lot faster.