There are a lot of different things to think about when exercising. For example, if you’re a runner, you might be focused on timing and pacing your splits, whereas weightlifters might be distracted by counting their reps and sets. No matter where your primary focus is, though, one thing that should never be far from your mind is form.
There are proper physical positions for all kinds of exercise and proper form is indispensable both in terms of safety and results.
Improper Form And Resultant Injuries
Anyone can get hurt while exercising, but among those most vulnerable to injury are so-called “weekend warriors” who go hard, but only on occasion. These casual athletes tend to be in good shape, but don’t have a lot of background in their different activities, and as a result, they tend to experience a lot of sprains and strains. These aren’t the most serious injuries in the big picture, but they are often avoidable with proper form.
Of course, even seasoned athletes can get injured when they exercise without proper form, and many experienced athletes lapse into poor positioning when trying to take their performance to the next level – such as when trying to lift a greater amount of weight or achieve a faster split. That’s why, when you’re pushing yourself, it’s even more important to check your form throughout.
How Do You Know What’s Right?
Using proper form when exercising is important, but it’s certainly not innate. How do you know if you’re performing an exercise correctly, then? One of the best things you can do is to work with a personal trainer who can demonstrate the correct body positioning and check your movements. This doesn’t even have to be done in person. You can learn proper form virtually, through a trainer who explains and demonstrates the movement and then reviews video footage of you performing it.
Form And Function
Another reason it’s important to pay attention to your form is that, if you don’t use proper form when exercising, you’re unlikely to see the kind of achievements and outcomes you’re hoping for. If you’re performing a lat pulldown but not holding your arms and shoulders in the correct position, you’re not going to work the muscle groups that the action is meant to target.
Often, people even use poor form to compensate – improper form can recruit different muscle groups and make an exercise easier. If you can’t seem to execute a movement with the proper form, it may be because you aren’t physically ready to do so.
If you’re a novice to the fitness world or you’re moving into a new activity, learning the right form can be a game-changer. People often bench press without considering their leg position and the role of the legs in the stability and strength behind the movement, while new runners may maintain the heel-toe movement of walking which, when sped up, can actually cause hip and knee pain, while simultaneously tiring you out.
When you shift to the proper form for each exercise, they tend to become easier and more comfortable, improving everything about your workout.
Exercise is important and good for your health, but working out with poor form can have the opposite results, causing more pain and physical damage than not exercising at all. When taking up a new form of activity, take the time to learn to do it properly. You’ll be glad you did!