Have you ever gone to the Physio, or been to a gym class, and been told to do an exercise and you just sort of do it without really knowing what you’re supposed to be feeling? It probably looks correct to the Physio or trainer because they don’t correct your technique, but you still aren’t really sure what the intention is and where you should be feeling it.
Start to ask some questions, because understanding the intention of an exercise can completely CHANGE the outcome!
A great example is a hip thrust. For Physios it’s not uncommon to teach the technique, go through the cues for the movement thoroughly and have the movement look perfect, however, when asked, the patient reports they are feeling the work happening in their quads.
The thrust in the movement should be coming from glutes and hamstrings, and the movement should be felt posteriorly. Simply knowing that information, and understanding the intent of the movement can completely change the outcome of what that movement achieves. Putting the intention behind the movement is very important, not to mention the fact that once you learn it, this is what you’re going to go away and do over and over. We need to be sure the movement you are practising is correct.
Another example is the clam. This movement looks simple and can LOOK easy to replicate. However, you can certainly go through the motions of the movement without achieving much at all. It’s important to test and try different positions, props and cues to really see what works for you to get the correct activation. It is therefore not uncommon for us to spend A LOT of time really getting to the nuts and bolts of a movement in the clinic.
There is no point doing an exercise without intention! So please, whoever is helping, training or treating you, feel free to ask them questions to achieve the desired exercise intention!