Want to know how you can get optimal benefit from your exercises and stay injury free?
It sounds simple – right? Of course you want to get the best results for your effort and it’s a given that you want to stay injury free. But do you give a thought to your form once you learn what to do? Believe it or not, poor form is a major cause of injury both in simple exercises and more complex routines, such as weightlifting.
Using proper form isn’t easy, it requires focus and practice. And if you are like me, when I started exercising I learned the basics, looked at the pictures, read through the rest of the instructions, then did my exercises quickly. And I was proud of myself. After all, I performed more exercises in less time than my friend Grace who exercises every day. I was doing great – right? Little did I know!
Think about this – proper form is critical in almost everything you do, even walking! After we take that first step we thought we had that down pat, but unfortunately just because we do it every day doesn’t mean that we have proper form. For more information, see our friends Core Walking – where people dedicated to helping you learn how to walk properly.
So, if proper form is important for walking, you can just imagine how important it is when you physically exert yourself such as when picking something up (bend from your knees), or doing planks and squats! There is a proper and improper way to do every exercise and it’s important to know what that means. Proper Form is important.
Correct form and technique in weight training improves your strength and muscle tone and helps you attain a healthy weight. The Mayo Clinic reports that poor form prevents you from getting the results you desire. Instead, you increase the chances of strains and even fractures that make exercise impossible. Don’t look at the person next to you to learn how to do an exercise. Work with a fitness specialist to learn correct form, then after a while schedule another training session to check your technique.
Aside from which exercises to perform and how much weight to use, the form you use will help determine how productive your sessions are. Proper form within each exercise as a means to avoid injury is common practice, but you must also maintain the proper form to keep continuous tension on the targeted muscle for maximum results.
Anyone can pick a few exercises, scan over the list of how to perform them, then hit the gym. But what you should do is plan your routine, print the exercises and have them accessible when you exercise. When you aren’t sure what to do, refer to the instructions for what to do and sometimes more importantly, what to avoid. Most exercise instructions give you the placement of your body in great detail. If they don’t, search for alternate exercises with better explanations.
- Don’t ignore pain. If an exercise causes pain, stop. Try the exercise again in a few days or try it with less weight. Ask an instructor for help.
How to Really Read Exercise Instructions
Whatever you do, take your time, don’t rush through the instructions by looking at the picture and attempting to mimic the technique. If the instructions or tips mention how to place your hands or hold your breath, follow them. Even locking or not locking your joints as instructed can mean the difference between risking injury and being pain free.
Remember it’s OK to feel some muscles soreness after exercising but you shouldn’t feel pain. If something is too awkward or painful, don’t do it – wait until you can discuss it with a professional trainer or your doctor to see if there’s a step missing in your technique. Or better yet, with so many exercises to choose from, choose one that feels more natural to you.
Here are some examples – note the tips and use visual tips when possible (of being as flat as a board if you were standing).
Proper Form: One straight line from the top of your head to your ankles – tighten your core. Prevent your head and belly from sagging to the floor or your glutes too high.
Prevent from dropping your knees inward. Spread your knees shoulder width apart. This tells you what to do to lessen pressure on your knees.
Take your time, read the exercise instructions thoroughly, and stay injury free.
Unlike Mikey here who posed for our featured image, and who has been doing the perfect squat since birth, it’s a little tougher for us that haven’t squatted in a while. We’ll take our time.
PS. I found this interesting as the girl in the picture doesn’t look quite right to me – I’m not sure if the article telling us what not to do? It’s very possible her form is the best technique, but I didn’t know the human body could do that!
The importance of proper form in exercise.
The proper form in exercise should be the foundation of your fitness program. Proper form will prevent injuries.
Source: The Critical Importance Of The Proper Exercise Form
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eye2eye/
Thank you for visiting with us today, we hope you found this article beneficial. Wishing you the best of health!
PS. If you are looking for some fitness essentials – check out our fitness page and shop our >> eStore for Fitness (hurry!! eStore is only available until 10/27), you can find the equipment you need for these exercises without the hassle of parking!