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  • Jude Hirschheimer

FEEL THE BURN (OR NOT!)



FEELING THE BURN. So often I hear that an exercise or class was good because it was tough. The feedback ranges from ‘ooh I could really feel I’ve worked hard’ to ‘woah I really ached the next day’ to ‘omg I felt my abs’, you get the picture! As a teacher I’ve been totally guilty of pushing that agenda too ‘oh you felt it for 4 days did you? Ha, good!’ Like it’s a requirement of the lesson plan that it must burn - cue evil laugh and sinister music. Now while I am totally into the working hard ethic, recently the above hasn’t sat as well with me as it has in the past. I get it, we want to feel that whatever exercise it is we are doing is doing something to our body, otherwise what’s the point?! We’re not getting enough out of it if we don’t feel that burn.... right? In order to change a muscle we must put it under tension. To contract a muscle fully it must first stretch fully. Yep. But why do we have this perception that we must feel our body under heavy duress during or after to create that change? The more I learn the more I feel that yes our body has to feel some difficulty but I don’t think it needs to burn, ache or shake err time. Using our diaphragm correctly is hard, putting our small spinal stability muscles through their actual range is hard, performing a lunge correctly is hard, being in proper alignment in quadruped is hard, but it’s a different hard, because maybe our body hasn’t done it this way for a long time. It’s adaptation, it’s change but it’s not 20 reps for however many sets to feel that burn. That burn is probably there because your brain and nervous system have burnt out, hit their neural edge and gone beyond, and when that happens the body loses control; alignment goes out the window, proper breathing is lost and compensation kicks in throughout. So what I think I’m trying to say (and I say this for myself too!) is that it’s ok to leave an hour’s exercise without aching, it’s ok to not ache the next day, the very nature of controlled, mindful movement encourages adaptation and if we do this regularly, it will create change without feeling the burn. #mindfulmovement #notfeelingtheburnisok 


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