Find inspiration in your own movement, record it! Why videotaping your training sessions could be the key to weight loss success
Proper form regardless of mode of exercise is one of the most important facets of training success. Bad form will at best be ineffective and at worst lead to injury. Learning proper form is not a naturally inherent endeavor for most people. Most people will need instruction to achieve proper form and someone to check their execution.
For those going it alone one way to ensure proper form is videotaping. Lifting weights is usually a straight forward proposition once proper form is established most people do not deviate. However, an attempt to add weight one is not ready for could cause a break-down in form that awareness could correct. Yoga and Pilates also require proper form and video will allow you to see where improvements can be made.
It’s cold, it’s busy, there’s cake and motivation is severely lacking. Sometimes workout time is reduced to maintenance only because that is all you have the energy for. Congratulate yourself, at least you’re not couch surfing. While performing maintenance workouts can feel tedious and boring take extra care to mind your form. This type of workout could be the best opportunity to correct and improve any form issues.
It is finally here: December “the most wonderful time of the year.” Or as fitness trainers know it: the month nothing gets done in fitness. This is when health clubs if they are proactive are running as many “get in here this month right now” specials as they can think of. Only the most dedicated of fitness enthusiasts are still in the gym this month. Group fitness class attendance wanes until finally classes are cancelled for the month—overall belief in the effectiveness of any workout while so busy with shopping and parties is gone. Any excuse not to workout is utilized and any other activity will do.
Check that form
Sometimes all we can do is try to be better than yesterday. Then sometimes we are trying to get back to as good as we were yesterday. Setbacks happen with injury but also with inadequate training. Generally if it hurts, don’t do it. But with video if it hurts and you see your form is off fix it, or don’t do it. Sometimes we get hurt and have no idea why. Wouldn't it be great to hit rewind and at least see what went wrong?
Once trained in your given mode it is less likely you will need to video day to day. Unless of course your preferred mode is pole fitness. In that case you will probably want to video every session. You never know when you are going to do something totally cool you have never done before.
At one studio I taught we were forbidden to video tape classes so my videotaping during those years was sporadic. Sometimes I would mess around after class and tape that but mostly whatever I taped was at home in my pole room. Now that I am at a different studio every practice is recorded. If you do not have a video camera get one. It is the second best investment a pole dancer can make. (The first of course being a great personal pole.) The best way to see what you are doing and correlate that with what it feels like to do it is to video tape it. Having a great kinesthetic sense will get you pretty far. But if your form needs correction and you have gotten into a bad habit the video tells the truth.
Pole enthusiasts all over the world desire to move with pointed toes like a ballerina. Pointed toes make every movement prettier. However it can be really hard to have the awareness to know when your toes are pointed with your entire foot and when your toes are pointed but your foot is flexed making for a very funny looking leg.
It still amazes me how many people (pole devotees especially) do not record their practices. I was talking with fellow polers the other day when the subject of video came up. I made the suggestion that people should not only tape their poling sessions but also their stretching and prep sessions as well. If you have no studio or other way to get feedback you can still get great workouts by watching yourself and seeing where you need to make improvements. It is really hard to have the kinesthetic awareness needed to have perfect form all the time. Watching video will help show you bad habits and help correct them. Especially if you have no studio in your area but are still learning pole through online lessons or just self-taught through YouTube, videotaping could be the only feedback you receive on your form and technique. Video provides inspiration for when you have to pole alone. With Instagram, Youtube, tumbler, Facebook, etc. all the other social media photo and video sharing sites you can have instant encouragement, validation, tips and pointers.
Video doesn't lie.
A few weeks ago I noticed I was having a really hard time accomplishing a move I thought I had mastered or at least was strong enough on to get every time. I couldn’t nail it and thought somehow I had lost strength. Would have been frustrated, but I knew exactly what to do to get it back; I saw it on the old footage. I hadn’t lost strength at all but merely changed my technique. As soon as I duplicated the earlier footage I was able to recreate the move. Whether it’s from time away from training, weight gain, or injury there are many things that can cause things not to work like before. If you haven’t been training as much as needed and your form is suffering as a result, your video will tell you. Old video helps you see how you got to where you were. It will also let you see how you went off track. Check the video, see what you’ve been doing for the last month and see that (for example) extreme stretching 3x a week isn’t working for you. Now what? Video will tell you if you are losing ground by not stretching often enough, or it could help you to see that though your body can only handle stretching twice a week you are not losing ground.
Video will also tell you when you’ve gotten [back] to where you want to be. One of the best feelings in the world is total control of your body. Seeing that control executed on video is very fulfilling and confidence building. Should you choose to post a short video or still from the action on your social media websites you are almost guaranteed to get likes, comments, and general feedback. Soon you are part of a community and working out alone is truly an option.
I know people who still do not have access to a video camera. I do not endorse any one brand of camera but feel it is important to use any means you can to record your practice sessions. If you are thinking ‘yes but I only have so much memory on my camera or my computer,’ that is true. However, you could invest about a hundred in an external hard drive and store all your videos on that. Even if you can only record a few minutes at a time on your phone, it is still better than going blind and having no visual feedback to connect what you are feeling to what it looks like. The only way to get true feedback on your own is to see it. So use what you have (even if it’s your computer’s webcam, almost all new computer seem to have them these days) track your progress and watch that form as you improve your skill set with each session.