What makes you feel as if you are doing an “easy” workout? Is it low impact, less pressure on the joints, less running and jumping movements?
Though these low impact exercises generally get pegged as “easy”, it is a misconception that these exercises are low intensity. These exercises can easily come together to build a high-intensity workout that will increase the heart rate and give you the feeling of fatigue afterwards.
It is important to understand what progressions and regressions are when speaking about an exercise. Progressions of an exercise will often be the most difficult and require the most amount of skill and stability. Regressed exercises are more stable and are less dependent on balance and skill of that movement. Both are acceptable regardless of your fitness level. Everybody moves differently.
Most of our exercise goals aim to achieve the most progressed form of an exercise. Sometimes that works, but sometimes our bodies simply say no. Every exercise we perform should be followed by the question “Does this feel good for me?”. For example, modifying a squat to provide assistance with correct form will be just as beneficial as doing the highest progression, especially when it feels best for your body. Picking an exercise that works best for your body will allow you to reap the most benefit from your workout.
Whether we are just starting an exercise routine, have chronic pain, or are coming back from an injury, someone else’s regression may be the highest progression for you. Regressions are there for a reason! We can all agree that no person is the same. We have different bone structures, health histories, and experiences with exercise. As a result, no one person's body moves the same, so pick a regression or progression that works and feels best for you!
Some days a progression may feel better and other days maybe a regression of the move will work best. Never compare your fitness level to someone else’s’ or a past workout to the one presently taking place. Never judge a workout on how much sweating, jumping, hurting, etc. is occurring, instead, gauge your workout on how you feel and how hard you perceive you are working.
Key Word: Intensity