Friday, April 4, 2008

Head Up!

In weeks past, I wrote an article about the necessity for deep breathing in exercising, especially in regards to weight loss. Deep breathing is a very important component in dropping weight and creating power within your body. It’s a universal rule in all exercises: if you don’t have powerful lungs, you won’t have strength. If you don’t deep breathe, you won’t have powerful lungs.

There is another universal rule in exercising that I feel bad for not bringing up. You have probably heard it in other exercises (I certainly have) but up until recently, I haven’t thought about it in terms of a general rule of thumb in exercise: KEEP YOUR HEAD UP!

One thing that I’ve learned in Brazilian Jui Jitsu is your head is one of the main levers of your body. If you can control your opponent’s head, you can control their entire body. If you think about it, you’re told to keep your head up when doing pushups. Otherwise, you won’t properly descend to the bottom of the movement. If you do pull-ups with your head up, you’ll always put your chin over the top of the bar like you’re supposed to. If you look down when doing squats, you’re likely to lose your balance. Hell, when you’re climbing, what’s the one thing that they always tell you not to do? To top it all off, head up is just good posture. Keeping your chin glued to your chest is a great way to set yourself up for neck problems.

Where the head goes, the body follows. This isn’t only limited to the physical. It is also a mental state. Hanging your head low is the universal body language of defeat, fatigue and general negativity. Did you ever see a picture of Charles Atlas with his head down? Training yourself to keep your head up at all times is a way of telling your mind to be energetic, magnetic and at all times positive. It’s even a powerful signal to everyone else mentally as well. A powerful person doesn’t walk around looking down at the ground. They keep their heads up, erect. Your body language tells everyone something, including yourself. So, do yourself a favor and walk around looking out and up at the world in exercise and in life.

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