My mom is a perfect example of this. When I see her, we usually go over her current exercise routine. I check her form and make suggestions and adjustments. I’ve written about her before; she’s the pushup queen!
One of the reasons I like to use my mom as an example is that she’s always stayed focused on good form as she progresses. At first, she may not be able to do many reps of a particular exercise, or may only be able to do a modified form, but she does what she can in perfect form. In that way, she carefully strengthens the muscles and is able to slowly and safely progress.
When I first assessed her, she couldn’t push herself up off the floor once. Slowly, making incremental progress, she built up her upper body and core strength until she could do perfect pushups. Along the way, with every modification, she focused on perfect form rather than number of reps.
This trip, I added some good stabilizing exercises to help with balance. I want to make sure she feels steady on her feet! That’s in addition to the excellent core work she’s already doing. Stability is equally about lower body and core strength. She demonstrated a perfect bridge with stability ball. Here, she shows a solid, stable torso – completely steady and plank-like. She’s totally awesome!
It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to do more. We see others doing more reps or more sets, running faster or farther. Whether out of competitiveness with them, or with ourselves (I did 5 more than last week!), we can get obsessed with numbers. I know I do sometimes. Do you?
But for real, long-term improvements, we’re better off taking a lesson from my mom: doing it right is better than doing a lot!