I believe form is the single most important thing to pay attention to in the gym! Not weight lifted, calories burned, or anything else. Why? If you have terrible form you have a good chance of getting hurt! It might not happen right away, but eventually faulty movements and body mechanics will catch up to you. The only way to learn proper form is to hire a coach. Perhaps you don’t need a coach forever, but if you are new it is essential that you be educated properly.
A professional will not only give you shortcuts and allow you to learn much faster, they will also keep you safe and teach you how to do it on the days you are not with the professional. Don’t hire just anyone, do your research. Find someone with a degree in fitness, a prestigious certification, and a few years of experience. This is especially important if you are older, or have previous injuries.
Is my form incorrect?
- Does your back round while performing a lift?
- Do you let your abs relax and not tight?
- Do your arms swing, elbows move, or body rock while performing movements?
- Do you lock out your joints while performing your lifts?
- Do you use a cardio machine with a resistance of 1?
- Do you jerk the weights and exercise as fast as possible?
- Do you allow your back to round on the machine you are using? (Bench, Seat, Machine)
- Do you hold your breath?
- Do you lift without thinking what muscles you are actually working?
- Do you wake up with sore joints, not muscles post workout?
If you said yes to any of these your form is incorrect and you need some guidance.
This topic could go on for a 500 page book, but here are some starter pointers to get you going in the right direction!
Keep your back flat while lifting.
- Keep your abs flexed at all times. (As if someone is going to punch you in the stomach)
- Keep your elbows tight to your side during single joint movements and do not let the body rock.
- Always keep the joints soft. Never allow the joints to lock under any circumstances. (7/8 range of motion)
- Always put the resistance to at least 2 on a cardio machine. Any less is actually putting the joints susceptible to injury.
- Keep a cadence of 2×2 or 2×4 on your repetition count. (2 seconds up x 2 or 4 seconds down) (2 seconds on the lift x 2 or 4 seconds on the lowering)
- Keep your back flat and focus on keeping it tight to the equipment you are using. If you can’t do this look into myofacial release or muscular imbalances.
- Breath while you workout and avoid the valsalva maneuver (holding your breath)
- Focus on the muscles you are intending to work. This will improve your mind muscle connection, and your results.
- You should wake up with slightly sore muscles. If you did chest, pressing on your chest will allow you to findyour soreness level. There are many ways to reduce this. If you are sore all the time, reach out to Formal Fitness Training for more tips!
Follow these tips and you will be on your way to achieving greater results with less stress on the body and less risk of major injury!
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