Is there a “right” and “wrong” way to do an exercise?

Right or wrongWhen I train people, I try to get them to do things in a certain way.  I coach them to move in certain ways, to squat in certain ways, to jump/land in certain ways.  And to some people, I have a bit of a reputation of not letting them get away with sloppy technique.  

Hell, I’ve even got a whole section on this website showing how I want exercises done (click here)!

And several times, after showing them how I expect a move to be done, they have said:

“so I’ve been doing it wrong all these years??”

But no.  Even though I expect people to take time to learn how to move and exercise in particular ways, I don’t think there is a “right” or “wrong” way to do them.  Simply because everyone is different, we have different bodies, different strengths/weaknesses/injuries etc.

I think there certainly are:

  • Easier ways
  • Harder ways
  • Safer ways
  • Riskier ways
  • Duller ways
  • More exciting ways
  • More efficient ways
  • Less efficient ways
  • More appropriate ways
  • Less appropriate ways

And part of my job is to help coach people to the most suitable way for them, at their current level of ability and their current goals.

And that is why I have been known to coach certain people the “wrong” things.  

And why I don’t think anyone should feel bad thinking they have been “wasting their time” all these years, doing it wrong.  Because they haven’t, I promise.  It just means that from now on, they are going to be even better than they already were!  Congratulations!