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Challenge the intended muscle, don't just perform the movement.

Updated: Oct 29, 2022

While most of us have a good idea of what a squat, lunge, lateral raise, and single-arm dumbbell row is, and diligently perform these exercises. Our goal should not be to perform these movements but to challenge the muscles. An example might be performing a seated row or an upper back focused exercise while sitting in forward flexion (hunching) position, which allows abs, arms, delts, and traps to ultimately engage and not the upper back muscles.

Yes, you might hit the targeted muscle, eventually, through increased weight and therefore demand on the body to achieve the movement through further recruitment. Still, stimulating, engaging, and isolating the intended muscle enough to see results takes proper form. Otherwise, you might as well strap the weight on and jump around.

Ask yourself:

  1. What muscle am I trying to work in this exercise?

  2. Is my focus on initiating, contracting and shortening that muscle every single rep?

If not... I'll be seeing you for treatment!


- Set up to perform the movement before you start the movement

- Stabilize yourself; core bracing, feet placement, strong leg position

- Start the movement with the intended muscle

- Feel tension in the intended muscle the entire rep and contract (squeeze) the muscle hard (hold) in the shortened (contracted) position. 💪

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