You would have heard the latest theories that we create what we observe and that our expectations cause our own individual reality? I’m not going to go much deeper than this but it is an important consideration when using mirrors in gyms…the understanding that how we feel about ourselves creates the image we see in front of us. If we take the example of someone who has an eating disorder such as Anorexia sees themselves as obese when they look at their image in a mirror, yet the reality is quite different. On a lower level of reality distortion is that our mood changes what we see…
So in using a mirror in a gym, if we are aware of this it will help us concentrate on the great uses we can get by exercising in front of a mirror. When taking top professional football players through rehabilitation programs I had to use the mirror to correct their technique many times because on occasions, what they felt that they were doing in that they were exercising in complete balance was far from the reality. This imbalance was causing major injuries throughout their whole kinetic chain…their whole body. So using a mirror to gain instant biofeedback is one of the major reasons mirrors are an important piece of equipment in a gym. This is is even more evident when the use of a mirror in rehabilitation programs so that we can recreate perfect symmetry in movement patterns when one limb has been injured. The reason is because the body will adapt to work around a certain weakness we have and create distorted movement…which often causes injury to the non-injured limb, or in another part of the body. This is one of the reasons I push seeing the body as a whole, rather than dividing it into parts in designing exercise programs.
Also when people observe their body in motion they gain a more positive perspective of self image, as long as they are cognizant of the first concept I covered in my introduction. This positive perspective will help people with their compliance to their exercise program.As long as a person uses the mirror as a tool rather than becoming completely reliant on it for everything they do in the gym.
If a large mirror is used in any space it will give the perspective of doubling the size of the space, that is why many people like doing their gym programs outside now – it is not just exercising in the fresh air that makes them feel better but the illusion of openness (think of your feelings when you have climbed to a high point and experience the euphoria of the view you get!) So working our in front of a mirror helps with lifting your mood.
Using a mirror in a gym has important ramifications when using it correctly , as long as people use it with cognizance.