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TIP OF THE WEEK
Just recently I competed in a bodybuilding show in Washington. While I was out of town I had to find a gym to get my last workout in. The gym I went too (no names) had some interesting people doing some interesting exercises. Let’s just say a lot of the workouts looked a lot like the National Geographic channel covering Lemur’s during mating season. I have no clue where or WHY they were doing the “exercises” they were doing. Yes, there is a point to this, I am not just picking on people. My point to this is how important proper form is!! The majority of the members performing these exercises were using half reps, bad form, terrible swinging motion etc. So my thought was to enlighten you on WHY you should adhere to proper form.
Here are just a few reason why proper form and technique is critical in any workout regimen.
- Joint Alleviation:
By swing, swaying, jerking, dropping, using that “rushing through you set” look, you put an extreme amount of unwanted stress on the joint. If you slow down, use a controlled eccentric, concentric and isometric movement throughout your exercises, the workload is primarily stressing the muscle itself.
Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain weight, run faster etc. using improper form will only take you so far. We have already covered the joint pain you will suffer from using improper form, which will halt progress in itself. Furthermore, by swinging weight, using half reps with too heavy of weight, you are only receiving HALF the benefit of that particular exercise. Again, by slowing down and doing the exercise in a controlled manor, you reap the benefit fully. Sure it looks cool to put 405 pounds on your back and do a few quarter squats, but explain that to your knees later in life.
- True Measures:
Most workout programs (I use the word “most” loosely) tend to have some sort of periodization. This could be anything from increase in sets, reps, tempo, rest time etc. However, by not using proper form, are you really progressing? Can you really say you benched 225 pounds? Let me explain! If you perform a bench press with terrible form, only using half or even quarter reps, are you getting a true measurement of strength? No! Simply lifting a weight to get through your set or for the sheer purpose of just moving weight, you will have no progression, no benefit with all the negative repercussions to your joints, muscles and ligaments. As stated above, move with a controlled eccentric movement, controlled concentric movement and a controlled isometric contraction. This is how true strength, endurance and hypertrophy can be measured.