Monday, 17 December 2012

Video Recording Your Workouts: Benefits

Why would you record your workout with a video camera? What purpose apart from wasting time and ogling at yourself afterwards does it serve?

Well there are many reasons to record yourself. Safety, motivation, form analysis and performance analysis.

Firstly, My background in exercise is that after a car crash a couple of years ago I injured my back. A herniated disk in my spine meant that putting load on top of me compressed my spinal disks more, resulting in agonizing pain when stretching my legs and back due to the nerve that comes of the the disks being crushed.  What this meant was that for a while I was not able to bend over and put on a sock, I was not even able to extend my leg to put down the clutch of my car without agonizing pain. I was partially bed ridden, and ended up on a diet of asprin and ibuprofen to get me through a day. I was advised and prescribed a dose of stretching and flexibility which only served to increase my pain and restrict my movement even more so afterwards. I ended up just giving up on trying to stretch the nerves and felt that i would happily be inflexible/stiff but in no pain, than able to touch my toes but in agony.  So straight off the bat, I fully admit I have poor posture, even poorer flexibility and a massive amount of inhibition when it comes to loading anything onto my spine.

Recording your workout means that you get a better understanding of your position, speed and form. If it was not for recording I would never have found out that I have a massive imbalance in my back and shoulders that results in me skipping with a very odd form.

Also it has totally sorted out my running form
Which was like this:

and is now like this

Safety is largely dictated by your form while performing an exercise,  However sometimes you are so concentrated on doing and counting the reps,  or focusing on minor elements of the exercise such as keeping head elevated during a squat that you forget to focus on the larger elements of the exercise such as depth, foot placement, hip and knee angles etc.  By having my workouts recorded I am able to focus on the movement and the form while ignoring the need to count the reps, or even the sets if i am that focused.

For me the biggest thing about video recording my workouts is the PEFA) Post Exercise Form Analysis
So with a camera on me I know I can analyze my form after the workout and make conscious adjustments to my future workouts, Whether that be to keep my ass down lower, my hips to drive through sooner, my head to look straighter etc, all things which are maybe best to start off the workout with rather than trying to change/adjust mid workout especially if you are in your flow.

A lot of strength is gained not through hypertrophy of your muscles but through the neural adaptions that occur from heavy strength training.

Never thought benchpress required much form control, then from the videos i found out i lift my head when i am lifting heavy weights. no idea that I did this nor that it was an issue.