It’s no secret we love tech. So when the trend of data collection hit the weight room in the form of new wearable technologies, we were intrigued. Some wrist wearables (Atlas Wristband) can now record your heart rate, reps and sets. Some are even smart enough to evaluate your form (Beast Athlete Sensor). Others have sensors integrated into clothing that tell you which muscles are firing, how much you are activating them, and more (Athos). All of this data can be viewed in real time and collected for review. And that’s awesome.
However, since strength training wearables are still in their infancy, they haven’t yet hit that mark where the tech becomes universally affordable. Case in point: A single smart shirt can run more than $390. And while we would admittedly blow a month’s grocery budget on a shirt that tracks our pectoral activity, we know we should wait and save up. But we don’t have to wait to start making our bodies tougher, because when it comes to strength training, traditional exercises done right have proven again and again to be the most effective at building strength and reducing injury.
“Strength in general helps prevent injuries through improved muscular stability around a joint,” says Daniel Payseur, director of the United States Performance Center and a strength coach who has also worked extensively with endurance athletes to help them increase their performance and stay injury free. “Higher failure points make it much more difficult to push the tissue or structure to the point it will fail.”
Here are five simple, classic movements Payseur recommends to improve performance and reduce the chance of injury. Aim to complete 3 sets of 10 reps for each move twice a week, increasing to three times a week as you get stronger.