Why does resistance exercise hurt?

Well, as the old saying goes “no pain, no gain”. However, there is a bit more to it.

In the last few decades we’ve been living a very sedentary life-style and our muscles are paying a very high price for it – they’re getting weaker, and at the same time, our joints are getting stiffer. Some people would say it’s just a normal part of ageing. That’s true and I think the root cause is inactivity. Building strong muscles is important to prevent strains and injuries and also to avoid bone and joint injuries.

So, what causes pain during and after exercise? There are many reasons why doing resistance training can hurt. One of the most common reasons for injury is the tendency to push the body too hard and overdo it – perhaps making up for lost time. Some people think they’re Superman or Superwoman and they just go from one workout to the other…and they get hurt. However, our body needs a break between workouts. In addition, poor technique can quite often cause or worsen pain.

I’ll admit, Pilates is a complex exercise that can be challenging to learn. It requires a lot of concentration, co-ordination, the correct breathing technique and a ‘brain workout’, particularly in first few weeks. But I can guarantee that for most people, it’s all worth it. If you do Pilates regularly, you probably know now that in our classes, we put a lot of importance on engaging deep core muscles.

Why are these muscles so important?

They support your spine and also enable you to breathe more easily. They also support some of the internal organs such as the bladder that, if not trained properly, could lead to some unwanted issues such as incontinence. Proper breathing is so important, so if you find yourself becoming rigid or holding the breath during the exercises, you might need to review your technique or get help from a Pilates professional or physiotherapist.

Unfortunately, some people have quite weak core muscles because they haven’t used them at all or haven’t used them properly. It’s important to understand that core stability is not the same as core rigidity. If you aren’t using core muscles properly, it can cause overuse of the superficial muscles – the so-called six-pack (abdominus rectus). Furthermore, if you are experiencing back pain and/or movement limitations, it’s likely that you are re-enforcing the incorrect technique whilst you exercise. 

Once again, if you have any symptoms of pain or discomfort, it’s important that you have an individual assessment with a health professional such as a physiotherapist or a qualified Pilates teacher who can assess your strength and range of motion. Once you’ve been assessed, you might need to do some specific exercises to help train your body correctly.  

What is the key objective of resistance training? - to improve your strength, flexibility and muscle tone. However, it’s important to do it correctly. You need allow some time to learn the basics first and then you can add on more challenging exercises/programs. It is also recommended that you vary your exercises and don’t use the same muscles every day. Overall, everybody will benefit form regular exercise, and the end goal is to do it without pain and feel good so, you can build strong body and avoid strains injuries due to inactivity.

If you feel like you would like to have a better understanding of your fitness level, your strength and range of motion, I’d encourage you to book for an Initial Assessment. 

Call us on 0415 128 804 or send us an email with your preferred date and time.