Sep 11th, 2015
Author: Cocoon Web Design
The Importance of Form
So you’ve been working really hard at the gym. Running on the treadmill, strength training, lifting weights. Everything you’re suppose to do right? But you’re either not noticing any improvement or you find yourself getting injured. What gives? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, this is a big issue with the majority of the population working out on their own and the culprit. Form.
So why is form so important? You’re lifting heavy weights, You’re doing a lot of reps/sets. That should count for something, form can’t be everything right? Wrong. I can lift very heavy weights improperly but that doesn’t mean I’m doing it in a safe and effective manor. I can also do a lot of reps/sets when doing an exercise wrong because I’m not actually engaging the muscles I’m trying to target in the first place. The best way I can explain the importance of form is to go over a few examples of dos and don’ts for some commonly performed exercises.
The Bicep Curl- A common mistake with this exercise is using too much weight. When you do this you are often recruiting your shoulders to do the work for the bicep and needing to lean back in order to bring the weight up, which puts to much weight on the lower back. A lot of people also rock the elbows forward which takes the weight and rests in on the joints and takes the work off of the bicep. Make sure you are standing nice and tall and keep the elbows tucked in by your side so that your are keeping your back protected and engaging your bicep.
Crunches- The most common mistake here is wrenching your neck forward. Believe it or not, you should not be moving the neck at all throughout this exercise. Doing so can put some serious strain on your neck and not allow you to work your abs. Keeping your neck in line with your spine and focusing on using your abs to do the work will make all the difference in the world for this exercise. A little tip, imagine a tennis ball between your chin and chest to make sure you’re using proper form. Lift your shoulders about 3 inches off of the ground tow
ards your knees and come back down.
The Chest Press- This is another exercise where people sacrifice form for the satisfaction of lifting a lot of weight. The problem with this is that you can very easily strain your back and shoulders. Remember when performing a chest press, it is very important to keep your shoulder down and back (like you are pinching your shoulder blades together). Too much weight will make you want to push your shoulders forward in order to push the weight up, leaving yourself in a very vulnerable position for injury. Also make sure not to lock your elbows when you extend the weight up. Doing so puts a lot of weight on your joints and off of your chest muscles and triceps, which are the muscles you are targeting during this exercise.
Making sure you keep proper form and performing the exercise correctly will make all the difference in your workout routine. You can always look online to see the correct way to perform different exercises properly but your best option is to find a personal trainer who can show you how to perform each exercise, to tell you when you are doing it correctly or incorrectly and to help you to determine what weights are right for you. Either way, as long as you keep yourself educated on the proper form of whatever exercise you are performing, you are a head of the game.
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