There are a number of different ways we learn and each of us respond better to different forms. Some of us are auditory learners and prefer to be listen for instructions or be told our corrections, some are kinesthetic learners and learn from doing the action and experiencing it while others are visual learners and need to look at our form in a mirror. In my experience a combination of all of these learning methods yields the best results and that’s why a tripod for your camera / phone is going to be your new best friend. It allows visual feedback on your form as many times as you wish to replay it and you can match what you ‘feel’ you are doing to what you are ACTUALLY doing.
Often when we are injured or in pain our body discovers new ways to compensate for that movement. We’ll limp if our leg is sore to avoid the pain or we’ll shift our weight to one leg in our squat to not load the weak side. Even when our injury is healed these compensations tend to hang around and brain has rewired itself to think that it the new ‘normal’. We’ll adjust our form according to corrections given but what you think you’re doing and what your body actually does now that it’s been rewired are usually two very different things.
Give this a try – set up your phone on video and record yourself in your normal posture, then correct your posture by
- sitting up on your sit bones
- opening your collar bones slightly
- pull your head back / chin in while your eyes are slightly down
It’s much easier to assess what your brain thinks is ‘good posture’ vs what good posture actually is with corrections when you can visually see the changes you’ve made via video vs just what you felt was good or better.
I often recommend to my gym go-ers to video their lifts, for instance when you’re squatting, minor changes can be made, the most common being ‘knees out’ but that verbal cue may not be the one that works for you and you’ll see it in the video feedback. I also recommend it to my dancers – we may be saying ‘pointe your toes’ and you think you are till you see the video and nothing has changed because the cue your brain needs is ‘pointe your ankles’.
Video feedback gives you the opportunity to review what you’ve done and where you can improve while matching the cues to what works for your brain. Are you curious to see how much your form can improve with video feedback? It may be time to invest in a $5 tripod!