When it comes to working out with exercise form, focus on quality more than quantity. There are always ways to do it better. One key way to improve performance and reduce injury is to learn and observe correct form.
The way you lift, run, or jump may have the difference between going harder and getting sidelined. If one is new to a certain exercise, they should devote time to learning the proper form, or have a Personal Trainer there to watch their form. Having someone professional to watch your form can allow you to be more aware of the subtle mistakes you are making.
Perfecting your form not only boosts your performance but also conserves energy and reduces injuries over time.
Why Are Learning Correct Exercise Form So Important?
Athletic and training technique is like any other skill; to reach goals and perform at a high level, practice, consistency and hard work are required. However, before anyone can even begin to dive into the hard work that comes with mastering a skill, movement or technique, a crucial step is needed—and it’s one that a lot of gym goers tend to skip. We understand that urge. Having a new fitness goal is exciting, and it can be tempting to attempt a “leap forward.”
Don’t jump just yet. To properly and efficiently master a skill, whether it’s in the gym, in a classroom, or in personal interactions, it is crucial to lay down a strong foundation. This foundation will support all of the further work you put into mastering your skill. In terms of athletics and fitness, this means learning exercise techniques. We believe that learning these correct techniques is the key to athletic success. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Creates A Safer Workout
Proper exercise form can prevent injuries and accidents in the gym and when performing everyday activities. Standing properly on a crowded bus, lifting a heavy box without back pain, or pushing your toddler’s stroller up a big hill will all come easier if you engage in the right technique. Of course, this is doubly important when engaging in a workout.
A properly executed workout is a safe workout—anything else can lead to risks or injuries. This is especially true when it comes to lifting. Workouts like bench presses and deadlifts require the correct form at all times, as these types of workout put a fair amount of strain on your body. Your muscles and joints go through a lot when you lift, and if they aren’t properly aligned, it can set off a series of bodily events that lead to injury or discomfort.
Every type of workout has its own version of correct form and technique. Whenever you begin a new type of workout, we recommend you spend your first session mastering that form and technique before working toward your results-based goals. A good fitness coach will be able to make sure you’re on the right track.
2. Reduces Likelihood of Injury
Having a proper exercise form can prevent injuries and accidents in the gym and when performing any daily activities. It can be standing properly on a crowded bus, lifting a heavy box without
back pain, or pushing your toddler’s stroller up a big hill will all come easier if you engage in the right technique.
A poor form places unnecessary stress on your muscles, tendons and ligaments that would potentially lead to sprains or strains. A good form avoids any overcompensation and the potentiality of causing an injury. Whenever you begin a new type of workout, focus on mastering that form and technique before working toward your results-based goals.
3. Injury prevention: You can’t build muscle in hospital
Nobody wants to get injured! But when we’re trying to squeeze out that last rep, we sometimes take unnecessary risks to get through it. This is because we often focus on the outcome rather than the process, using muscles that aren’t up for the job and compromising form just to complete a set.
In the worst case, this can lead to injury which is not only painful, but can also mean that you have to take a long training break.
4. Proper Workout Form Means Better Performance, Less Pain
When people hit a plateau in their fitness and training they usually think it’s due to their routine. The solution? They hit the gym more, add on more miles, seek out a personal trainer, or change up their training. Not to say those things won’t get you to perform better, but there’s always one aspect of training that most people forget in how they perform: form and range of motion, AKA mobility.
Simply stated, mobility is the ability to move your body freely and effectively. It means you have the necessary strength, range of motion, and stamina to go that extra mile. The only way to do this is to have the proper technique in any sport or activity.
Take for example the simple act of riding a bike. If you’re hunched over in bad form, you’ll be unable to fill your lungs to capacity with breath. This means that your muscles won’t be getting the necessary nutrients to perform at an optimal level. It also means fatiguing quicker. You start to slow down and going that extra mile seems impossible.
Or take, for example, your running stride. If you’re not engaging your core or positioning your foot right when you land on it, your performance again will suffer. Furthermore, you could be setting yourself up for pain and injury.
Lifting weights is another time where your performance will severely suffer if you have improper technique. Not only will you not be able to take advantage of your full range of motion, but you’ll also prevent yourself from growing stronger and benefiting from strength training. Studies show that being able to utilize the full range of motion during exercise means increasing the potential for strength. Furthermore, other studies indicate that having proper mobility leads to higher performance, better training results, increase in muscle size and strength, and decrease in fat.
5. Get the Most Out of Every Exercise
As we said earlier, exercises are generally created to target specific muscle groups. Doing each exercise with proper form makes sure that you make use of the full potential of your body. Proper form ensures that your body is stressed properly, and so it will respond and adapt in the best way possible. The result is that your strength, power and/or muscular endurance improves.
6. Less Waste
With bad technique, such as bending or leaning too low or far back, you’re expending more energy than necessary. It inadvertently becomes wasted motion. Hopefully, you properly fuel yourself before an intense workout, so you don’t risk tiring yourself out before you’ve even started.
An easy analogy is driving a car. If you know you need to get somewhere yet occasionally take what you think is a shortcut because it’s more familiar, it might, in fact, take more time and waste gas trying to get you where you need to be.
7. Improved Efficiency
Maintaining a proper exercise form not only helps one to avoid injury – it actually helps to make the workout itself feel easier. Without a proper exercise form, your body will be wasting energy on the wrong and inefficient movements affecting your overall performance.
Forcing your body to work harder and getting tired more quickly. But when one engages in proper form, you will be able to work out more efficiently and go for that extra repetition.
8. Reach Your Goals Faster
Let’s imagine that your current goal is hitting 200 kg on back squats for doubles. In the initial stages of learning the back squat the communication between your brain and muscles is at its highest. You begin with the process of motor learning. Motor learning is a very long process, but once you have learned the motor pathway of a certain exercise (correctly or incorrectly) it stays with you for a long period of time (just like learning how to ride a bike, you can never forget it).
Now, let’s get back to that back squat goal. If you learn to execute this exercise the incorrect way, you are increasing the time needed to achieve your goal. Your form is bad; you waste a lot more energy on stabilization because your body is trying to protect you from getting injured. You’re making very little progress, your back hurts, and you’re wondering why is this happening to me. Well, this answer is simple- your form is incorrect!
9. Targets The Muscles You Want to Work On
For a large portion of the people out there, they want to work out to get stronger and more muscular. For this to work at its best, you need the suitable lifts, exercises and workouts to target the correct muscle groups. If you don’t have solid grip on the correct way or technique to do the exercises, you could be targeting the complete wrong muscles that you are aiming to.
Again, this is a fairly easy fix as you can just watch form videos on the internet or watch others do the lift correctly. Of course, it isn’t harmful to target the wrong muscles, but if you are wanting to train arms, you might as well make sure you are doing the lift correctly so it will actually train your arms.
10. Better Breath Control
Engaging in the right breathing techniques with the correct exercise form can help individuals build strength by promoting better stamina and endurance. Better breath control in exercising also improves one’s oxygen flow, allowing for an efficient and effective post-workout recovery.
Improper form will place extra stress on the breathing organs, and you’ll struggle with your breath. This causes less oxygen to be inhaled, and less carbon dioxide to be exhaled. With this said, your cells won’t get the adequate amount of oxygen and you’ll fatigue a lot sooner.
As you can see, proper form during exercise is very important. There are a lot of things that can go wrong if you ignore this issue. This article should be reminder always to watch your form, and for you beginners, do not rush anything, learn how to perform the exercises, train smart, and watch how quickly you progress as a result.
Are There “Wrong” Workout Techniques?
Some things are always viewed as a “no-no,” whether in the swimming pool or the weight room.
- Not Warming Up/ Movement Prep or Cooling Down
These are integral parts of fitness training! Skipping your warm-up/ movement prep can cause injuries and discomfort during your routine, and abandoning your cooldown can mess with your recovery—which can lead to a less enjoyable workout down the line.
- Certain Eating Habits
When you hit the gym, you need to be fueled and hydrated. When you finish, help your muscles recover with a hit of protein.
- Staying Stuck
Sure, you can watch your favorite show while walking on a treadmill every day, but you won’t see loads of progress. Push yourself—it’s worth it.
- Unrealistic Expectations
You aren’t going to walk into the gym a shrimp and exit a bodybuilder. Progress takes time and realistic, incremental goal-setting. Otherwise, it’s too easy to get discouraged and give up.
Can A Fitness Coach or Personal Trainer Help Me Learn Proper Workout Techniques?
Absolutely. In fact, when it comes to learning proper exercise and/ or lifting techniques and form, we would venture to say that working with a fitness professional is crucial for efficient training. A trained fitness coach or personal trainer will explain the correct forms and techniques required to master whichever exercises that you are working on together. They will also be able to spot any potential problems in your understanding of this technique and can correct your exercise form, so you perform the exercise as intended and efficiently.
Our personal training allows you to meet your lifestyle needs and is flexible to fit into your busy schedule. Feel free to contact us for details.
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