The Importance of Proper Technique and Form to Your Workout
Just like regular exercise and healthy eating are worthy habits to pursue, perfecting your technique and form during workouts can help you up your game and improve your physique.
Technique and form are two totally different things. Technique is the way you perform an exercise in order to target specific muscle groups. For example, bench pressing with a close grip or wide grip are types of techniques used to target different muscles in your chest. Form is all about injury prevention. An example of good form would be not leaning back or using your neck to help lift the weight when you’re performing bicep curls.
Without the proper technique, your results won’t be as good as they could be. Having improper form can have negative effects on your body and leave you further away from your fitness goal.
The effects of improper technique and form can include:
Maybe the most detrimental effect of improper technique is an increased risk of injury. Injuries can result from extra strain placed on the body from using muscle groups that you were not intending to use. While you might think that adding more weight and doing more reps will give you better or faster results, doing so with improper technique and form actually increases the risk of injury. On the contrary, fewer reps with proper form can help you see results.
- Less-than-stellar results
The harder we work, the faster we expect to see results. However, just because you work hard and stay in the gym for hours doesn’t mean you will see results. If you have an hour to spend at the gym, using proper form will produce better results than poor form. Using correct form gives you strength without the strain.
People who tend to struggle with poor technique simply need to be shown the right way to do it. Hiring a personal trainer or consulting a friend who has experience working out could prove beneficial to someone lacking proper technique know-how. Not only will they motivate you, they can show you the right way to do workouts so you can see those desired results.
“Working with a personal trainer or fitness coach is beneficial to make sure you are using proper techniques to avoid injury. They can also help you achieve your health and fitness goals while keeping you motivated and accountable,” said Grace Derocha, registered dietitian and certified health coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Recommended techniques for common workout moves:
- Barbell Curls– When doing barbell curls it’s important to not have your elbows in front of your shoulders as this causes tension and strain to be transferred to your shoulders rather than your biceps. The proper way to do barbell curls is to keep your elbows tight and pulled back in order to target your biceps.
- Squats– When squatting, always keep your back and shoulders relaxed, while simultaneously keeping your knees in line with your toes. You should squat until the top of your thigh is below your knees.
- Crunches– The most effective way to perform crunches is to lie flat on your back with knees bent. Then bring your shoulders off the ground while holding for one to two seconds, then exhaling.
Do you have any form or technique tips to share? Tell us in the comments.
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Photo credit: Drazen_