Other muscles can compensate for your lifts if you don’t take the time to warm up properly. And ofcourse It helps to know specifically what muscles you’re working on before you get into doing an exercise.
You can activate or ‘wake up’ certain muscles if you don’t feel like they’re getting worked properly especially for example if you feel like you’re feeling more of a burn in one side more than the other.
Stretch or release muscles that feel tight or are compensating for other muscles that should be used during the exercise.
For example you can activate your TA before doing ab exercises / stretch your neck before doing overhead lifts.
You can also try doing a few warm up sets with very low weight, concentrating on the muscles you’re working on and try to squeeze at the point of contraction.
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