Proper form is one of the most underrated aspects of fitness, but it’s absolutely necessary. At Noble Clay, we ensure all of our members are moving with proper form in every session. Here’s why:
Reason #1: Reduces the Risk of Injury
Of all reasons, injury prevention is by far the most important. Moving and exercising with improper form puts one at risk of tearing a muscle, ligament, or tendon, dislocating a joint, breaking a bone, or developing chronic aches and pains.
Some of these may seem extreme, but our bodies are design to move in specific ranges of motion and if we are moving improperly, especially over time, this can cause injury; both immediately and cumulatively over time.
It doesn’t matter if you’re lifting weights, doing calisthenics, or doing sports-specific training. Forcing your body to work against resistance or high-impact forces at awkward and improper angles in dangerous.
But what if you’re just starting out and you’re lifting super light weights? Should you still be concerned with proper form?
That’s actually the most important time to focus on and master proper exercise form. The goal is to build good habits at the beginning of your fitness journey so you can stay safe once you start lifting heavier weights, jumping higher, running longer distances, and training at higher intensities.
You must build the foundation of the house before you can start building walls.
Reason #2: It Helps You Develop Proper Technique
Every exercise you do has a purpose (or at least it should). Moving with proper form ensures you are fulfilling that purpose: moving in the right patterns and training the right muscles or muscle groups.
The most common movement that we see done incorrectly is the hinge pattern; like a deadlift or any of it’s variations. The hinge is one of the hardest to teach, therefore, we know how hard it is to learn. What’s important about hinging with proper technique is that, as mentioned above, if done improperly from the beginning, your risk for injury (especially for your lower back) is much greater later on as you progress.
This applies across the board. It’s tough to know if you’re doing it right because you can’t see yourself nor are you probably an expert. It takes a lot of practice, body awareness, and guidance and correction from an expert coach or trainer.
Reason #3: It Helps You Get More Out of Your Workouts
Of course, improper form also means a lot of wasted energy.
In recent years, high intensity workouts have been marketed as the fitness standard. Group classes that push us to our limits and leave us on the floor have taken over. But moving at that kind of intensity for that long is usually a recipe or burnout and injury.
So, why do I see people on Instagram crushing high intensity workouts all the time?
Most of the time, it’s because they’ve trained for it. They built the house before they built walls.
Proper foundation and proper progression to high intensity workouts is necessary. You must be able to move well in the basic movement patterns in order to progress on to heavier, more complex, and higher intensity workouts and exercises.
Needless to say, the faster you burn through your energy stores, the faster you get tired and the less you accomplish in the gym. This, in turn, prevents you from getting more out of each training session.
Intentionality is key to longevity in fitness and health.
Reason #4: It Prevents Muscular Imbalances
Another problem with exercising with improper form is that it can create unnecessary muscular imbalances, especially if you lift really heavy weights without building the proper foundation first. In most cases, what ends up happening is that one side of the body becomes significantly stronger than the other.
Left unchecked, this simple issue could lead to much bigger problems down the line because your body will start to favor its stronger side more and more over time. This, in turn, could cause poor posture (or even full-on scoliosis), limited mobility, and chronic aches and pains.
Focus on mastering proper form early on so you can stay healthy, keep training, and keep making progress for a long, long time.
Reason #5: It Provides You With a Consistent Way of Tracking Your Progress
Progressive overload is one of the keys to making continuous improvements in the gym. The concept is simple: you increase your training volume (i.e., reps x sets, x weight) over time to force your body to keep growing in your fitness.
Of course, you can only increase your training volume if you know exactly what you did last time. If you keep changing your form to alter the difficulty of the exercises you’re performing, then you can’t really tell how much volume you’re logging each session.
This is where a coach can be of great value. This is what we do. So long as you show up, do the work, and input your results in your TrueCoach- we will properly and safely progress you in your fitness to help you reach your goals.