The Importance of Proper Form When Working Out
Editor’s Note: This post is written by Austin Winder and has been edited for length and clarity. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Minneapolis Running.
Exercise is something that all of us are recommended to do on a regular basis. When it comes to exercising, the quality of the technique that you use can greatly impact the results that you end up with. While good exercise techniques can produce high-quality results, improper technique can do some serious harm to your body. On top of possibly doing physical damage to your body, improper technique will not give you the results that you are looking to obtain from such exercise. Thankfully, proper form is something that can be learned. In this article, we are going to help you understand the importance of proper form as well as some tips to help improve your workout technique.
Why Does Proper Form Matter?
Your form can make or break the results that you get from exercising. With that being said, there are many different reasons why form matters when it comes to working out. Here are a few of them:
The most prominent reason why form matters in a workout is to avoid injury. Injuries happen to many people who work out with bad form. The spine especially is prone to injury caused by improper form. In order to prevent injury to the spine, be sure to keep proper form and don’t try to lift too much weight at one time. On top of potential damage to the spine, bad form can also do some substantial damage to your joints and ligaments. When you lift heavy weights, it puts a lot of stress on your joints. If you lift heavy weights with improper form, it can cause permanent and serious damage. Finally, working out with proper form will help you breathe properly. Not breathing right when you are working out is dangerous and can cause you to pass out.
Helps Target Certain Muscles
Another reason why you need to have good form when you work out is that it helps you to target the muscles that you are trying to work out. Many people who work out regularly like to target certain muscles on certain days so that they can allow their other muscles to recover. If someone wanted to only target chest on a given day, proper form would seriously help them do so. With bad form, one must use various other muscles to perform the lift, making it more difficult to work one specific muscle as effectively.
Your form also matters because working out properly can help to improve your balance. By this, we are mostly referring to the balance of strength in your body. For a lot of people, the dominant hand or leg is often stronger because it is used more often. When you work out with proper form, it forces both sides of your body to become of equal strength.
How Can You Keep Proper Form?
Now that you know the reasons why proper form is so important, it is time to learn exactly how you can maintain proper form when you exercise.
Go For Burn, Not Pain
Make sure that when you lift, it is a burning sensation rather than a painful one. When you use proper form, you should only feel it in muscles. If you are feeling sharp pains or any other type of pain for that matter, your form is off.
Use Your Full Range of Motion
When you are exercising, make sure that you are using the full range of motion that your muscles will allow. Doing half-reps not only produces less strength gain, it also puts more stress on your joints and ligaments.
Make sure that you are staying focused on what you are doing when you exercise. When it comes to lifting weights, zoning out is not something that you should do. This can cause you to use bad form and possibly even drop your weights.
The last way to ensure proper form is to be controlled. Staying in control when you exercise is very important. In other words, don’t throw the weights around too quickly. If you can, they probably aren’t heavy enough in the first place.
After all that has been said, you should know more about the importance of proper form while working out. Learning the proper workout form for each individual exercise is necessary prior to you attempting such a lift. Be sure to lift weights in a controlled manner and if you ever feel pain, stop doing that exercise immediately until you figure out what is wrong.
Hi, I’m Austin Winder, a Public Relations Specialist and contributing author for Orangetheory Fitness. I live in Memphis, TN and graduated with a business management and marketing degree from the University of Memphis.