If you step into the gym as a beginner, you may stare at the abundance of weights and workout stations and wonder just what you’re meant to do.
Before sitting down and getting to work, it is important to consider the correct form that you should be using.
This is a vital part of a workout and getting it right can be the difference between big gains and big issues.
But what is proper form? And why is it so important?
Let’s find out.
What is Proper Form?
When we refer to proper form, we are talking about the way your body is positioned during a workout.
This has a big effect on the results of the exercise, and the effects it has on your body.
Things to consider when making sure your form is right are your posture, your joint alignment, and your muscle activation.
A common example is when lifting something, people often say ‘don’t lift with your back.’
This is because when picking something up, doing so with a bent back isn’t the best way to do this, and can lead to injury.
Everything from lifting dumbbells to performing a press up has a correct form, and knowing what to do will ensure you are hitting your target muscles effectively and really making the most of your workout.
7 Reasons Why Proper Form is So Important
A major reason that proper form is so important is that it helps to prevent injuries.
Let’s go back to the example from above. If you’re lifting a heavy weight, and bend at the waist and pick it up with all the pressure being put on your lower back, this could cause an issue. If you bend at the knees and lift with a straight back, the chance of injury is much lower.
If you use an incorrect form, you can put unnecessary strain on your muscles and joints which can lead to pain, inflammation, and injury.
Working out with the correct form though ensures the right muscles and joints are being activated, and no unwanted pressure is being applied somewhere it shouldn’t be.
Improved Exercise Effectiveness
When you do a workout, you want it to have maximum effect on your body.
Proper form allows you to engage the correct muscles and produce the right movements to work your way through an exercise. This will lead to better results and more efficient routines as your target muscles are always being activated as much as they can be.
Increased Muscle Activation
Every exercise needs the correct form to make sure the right muscles are being activated.
Take a bicep curl for instance.
If you are bending your back while lifting, or twisting your body, you will be taking the strain off your bicep and spreading it across your body.
This will mean there is less growth in your bicep then there would be if you had a straight back and was using nothing but your bicep muscle to lift your dumbbell.
By making sure you are performing exercises correctly, you will see greater gains in strength and size and soon find you can lift heavier weights for longer.
Good form whilst working out can help to improve your posture and alignment.
If you maintain proper alignment when working out, you will find you often engage your core. This group of muscles is key to giving you great posture not just while working out, but in everyday life also.
You will also be putting less pressure on joints which shouldn’t be under such stress, meaning your body mechanics will also improve and you won’t be at risk of developing pain in these areas.
By building your strength, especially in your core, you will get much more protection form your spine and be able to maintain proper alignment throughout your entire body much easier.
Good Breathing Techniques
Breathing is important whilst exercising, and if you can control this while working out, you are likely to see improvements over time.
Some ways good form can help improve your breathing is firstly through good posture. In many exercises, the correct form involves opening up your chest and keeping your shoulders in line.
This allows for more expansion in your lungs and improved oxygen intake during exercise.
Also, when controlling your breathing during a workout, such as inhaling during the eccentric phase and exhaling during the concentric phase, you are likely to improve your oxygen intake further and feel less fatigue whilst working out.
Wider Range of Motion
Another result of good form is that you feel strong and free enough to use a strong range of motion throughout your workout.
This means that you don’t feel constricted and like you can’t achieve certain parts of the workout.
With proper alignment throughout your body, as well as knowing the right muscles are being activated and strengthened, you will find that you feel resilient and flexible enough to see plenty of motion throughout your body.
Better Muscle Balance
Something that is important when working out, especially when doing a workout that involves both arms or legs, is muscle balance.
This is making sure that both muscles are being worked the same amount and that you aren’t overloading on one side.
For example, if you’re doing a press up, but you’re leaning more on one arm, this one will be under much more strain than the other.
This can put one muscle under too much stress and leave another without being put under enough.
Using correct form will help to improve muscle balance and symmetry by ensuring your weight, or the weight you are holding, is balanced across all of the muscles you want to activate.
What you need is for both of your muscles to work together effectively, and proper form is a great way to achieve this.
Personal Training and Form Advice from Trojan Fitness
Our experienced trainers have the knowledge to be able to show you the correct form for any exercise you would like to perform, so don’t put yourself at risk and ensure you’re always activating and strengthening your target muscles by speaking with one of our team today.
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