What a time to be alive. Almost all the worlds information in the palm of your hand. Social media demands most of the attention to information. This is no secret. We tend to go on our favorite social platforms for inspiration, entertainment or instructionals for a variety of things. Fitness is no exception. This presents some problems, especially for beginners.
Unless there is a full instructional of how to perform the movements, you could be setting yourself up for catastrophic failure. Even with the instructional we are at the mercy of our default movement patterns. Lets get into what this all means, create awareness of red flags and keep your fun workouts safe. But not too safe.
Trends get a bad reputation and for good reason too. But they do have value. What trends are good for are introducing new ideas and to break up stale training programs. Other than a few great qualities, they can be fraught with hidden dangers. You, are the biggest danger to yourself.
“Once you have been tested through basic ranges of motion,
using little or no weight,
you can begin down the path of fitness novelty.”
How well you move through a given range of motion is paramount. So this begs the question. “How well do I move”? This question is one you need to ask yourself before you attempt to emulate your favorite Instagram star. First, you need to test yourself. Those are the youtube or pinterest videos you need to search.
Once you have been tested through basic ranges of motion, using little or no weight, you can begin down the path of fitness novelty. If you don’t have quality body movement, and confidence, you probably shouldn’t move forward or add substantial weight.
Instructional videos cannot replace a set of (competent) eyeballs that are focused on you! Still, we have to give them their due. They are better than the instagram star that is often just showing off (low value) to try to sell you their program (medium value). Beginners instructionals are best. They’re often done with bodyweight only, require basic movement patterns, add a little bit of novelty and are of low impact to the nervous system.
What does this mean? That beginner videos provide maximum value with minimum investment. Once you know which direction you’re going and you have found quality personal instruction, social media suddenly unlocks it’s (realistic) potential to you. The social fitness world becomes your oyster.
The biggest red flag
Simple. You don’t recognize the fundamental pattern of the move. If it isn’t explained, there’s a good reason not to attempt it until it’s understood. The movement could be way out of left field and unnecessary. Think of it like the way you read food labels; if you can’t pronounce it, you probably don’t want to eat it. If there isn’t something recognizable from the basic movement patterns you know from high school gym class (eg. Squats, Deadlifts, Press, Overhead Press, Rows), then it likely isn’t worth doing at the movement.
With so much of our attention going to social, it’s no doubt that there can be pitfalls. However, with any double edged sword, there is a massive benefit. If we know what to look for, we can really open the world up and cut through the noise. Inspiration and motivation is in no short supply. Fitness is the tip of the spear for such things because it’s so relatable.
We all likely have been made a fool when we flock to a trending video. Maybe with fashion, selfies, food, news, and fitness is no exception. Keeping your mind focused on improvement is essential to bucking the trends and avoiding someones sales funnel. Or worse, injury. Knowing is half the battle. Perfect the basics, add a dash of novelty, and think for yourself.