Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Why Good Form Is Important

Sometimes at the gym I see people performing exercises with picture perfect form and it's a thing of beauty, but it's more common to see people with horrible lifting form. Sometimes my back hurts just from watching them.

I've been guilty of poor form myself. There are times when I'm trying to beat a record or get a new personal best, so I cut corners and get sloppy. If I lift weights that are too heavy too soon, I will sometimes notice I am swaying and wiggling and look more like I'm trying to break dance than lift weights.

Here are some reasons why it is important to lift weights and perform exercises with correct form.

    1.You are more likely to injure yourself if you use poor form.
    2.You will not target the intended muscles as well if you have bad form.
    3. You are a setting a bad example for all of the new people who are watching you.

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind that can help you improve your lifting form:

* Don't let your ego get the best of you. Stop trying to impress or compete against others. Young guys are usually the most guilty of this.

* Warm up before exercising and adjust the increase to your work load gradually.

* Observe your form in the mirror (no, the mirrors at the gym are not just there for the narcissists).

* Remember to breathe while lifting.

* Keep constant tension on the muscle (avoid locking out between reps).

* Focus on the muscle you are working and squeeze the muscle for peak contraction.

* Lift slower. You are more likely to get injured with fast ballistic motions than you are with slow and controlled movements. You've probably seen the guy at the gym bouncing the bar off his chest with each rep when bench pressing.

* Workout with a friend. Not only can they spot you, but they can help watch your form.

I'm sure there are experts out there that may disagree with some of this advice, but I believe you will get a safer and more effective workout when you follow the above guidelines.

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