Man taking a break from working out in gym, sitting on floor drinking water.

Whether the January Effect at the gym — “Gympocalypse” as someone has described it — or the spring frenzy to get summer-body-ready, any time is the perfect time to remind beginners and old timers, as well, that form matters.

Good Form Matters Greatly

To categorize it simply, your form of movement is either helping you or hurting you.

Let’s understand why…

1. Proper form and a full and safe range of motion produce maximum results.

Let’s talk about the ever popular barbell curl. Watch how many times guys load up the bar and turn it into a back exercise to handle more weight by jerking backwards. Many will perform a partial range of motion for the same reason. Hint: If you extend the arms all the way down, you can probably skip the set of preacher-bench curls. Proper form is more difficult to do… but isn’t that why you’re there? Isn’t that what your goal is… maximum workout per time spent?

2. Proper form means a safer workout. 

This is a particularly important point for my Senior fitness friends. Whether you’re new to training or not, aging brings a heightened respect for the possibilities and consequences of injury. But don’t think, at any age, that sloppy movements can’t injure you… especially if you’re handling too much weight. This is the primary culprit. Give yourself the time you need to grow, and respect your body’s signals along the way.

3. Proper form takes discipline and effort to learn.

Although it appears a simple matter to pick up weights and move them around, those of you who train understand that even a slight change in grip can change the dynamic of the effect. As in any sport, you need to be a student, first and always. There are many details such as a grip change, elbow orientation on a triceps exercise, or angle of the feet on a squat, that won’t be a part of what you notice when you first step into the gym, but you need to learn about such things. How you learn them is up to you, but be sure to set your ego aside when necessary so that you can move forward faster.

You Already Train Hard; Keep It Safe, Too!

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About The Author

Steven Siemons ACSM CPT's picture

As a lifelong fitness enthusiast and armchair philosopher (BA in Social Science, UC Irvine), Steven communicates his passion for health and wellness with an offbeat slant. It's a lifestyle, he will insist; and fitness is really a journey to find what fits--for you. His personal fitness journey has primarily centered on resistance training for more than fifty years. An intense three-year exposure to Shotokan Karate under Sensei Ray Dalke and Sensei Edmond Otis in Southern California during his thirties (he is now 65, since you're wondering) had a significant impact on his appreciation for the martial arts as fitness disciplines. It is his sincere hope that you will find insight, inspiration, and knowledge from the ideas he sends your way. Find more of his work at The Senior Health and Fitness Blog.
 

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