What is good form ?
“Good form” when performing exercises is k
ey to optimal performance and injury free training. So it is important that you make this your primary focus when you go to the gym. All the improvement in the world doesn’t mean anything unless it is done with proper form. To illustrate: It will take you approximately 100 repetitions to learn an exercise, however it will take a 1000 reps to correct an exercise performed with incorrect technique.
“Good from” can be defined as:
Performing an exercise pain free while maintaining optimal body-alignment and range o f motion
Here are a few pointers when you perform an exercise:
Core activation: Your core is responsible for holding your trunk straight. There are a few things that you have to pay attention to. The first is to pull your shoulders back. When you squeeze your shoulder blades down and together your back will go nice and straight. The next thing to do is to pull your belly button in towards your spine and activate your pelvic floor muscles (like your holding in a fart)
Range of motion: The general rule is that more motion equals a better workout. Try to go deep into a pain free motion. For example: The lower you can squat with an activated core, the better the workout for legs and back. The same goes with push-ups, lowering your chest closer to the floor will train the pec’s and triceps more effectively. It is important though to always stay in a pain free movement. Your goal should be to first increase the range of motion and then the weights or reps.
Breathing: Breath out at the hardest part of the exercise (the bit where you want to scream, breath in when you relax. When it comes to breathing; First push the stomach out, then expand your chest.
This might take some practice in the beginning. ..
You should always try to breath slow to prevent build up of co2 in the lungs and to allow the blood to take in the oxygen. Don’t hold your breath, especially if you have been diagnosed with high blood-pressure. Also, the speed of your breathing should determine the speed of your exercise and not the other way around.
Isolation vs. Integration: The goal is to lift with non-involved muscles as well. Body parts that aren’t involved in the movement should by hold into place with an isometric contraction. In other words: squeeze the muscles around the joints together to lock non-moving body parts in. For example: When performing an isolated bicep exercise like the standing barbell curl, the butt should be squeezed, core activated, legs lightly bend with quads and hamstring tight, abdominal flexed and shoulder and elbows firmly pulled next to your body.
Symmetry: Bilateral exercises are exercises where both the left and right sight to exactly the same thing. Most people will notice one site being stronger than the other…This is an indication that there is a muscle misbalance or a flexibility issue present in the body…
Exercise specific: Pull exercises (Row, pull-down, pull-up)
Elbow and shoulder blades should reach their end range of motion at the same time.
Elbows should be aligned behind your hands and you want to keep your next as long as possible to avoid an overworked upper trapezius muscle.
Exercise Specific: Bend exercises (Deadlift, bend over row)
The stretch should be felt in the hamstring and not in the back. If this isn’t the case and you feel your back, you most likely forgot to tilt your pelvis forward. This could also be a sign of tight hamstring by the way.
Exercise specific: Twist exercise ( trunk rotations, Russian, twist and most dynamic exercise)
Keep your trunk upright. Your shoulders should stay at the same level throughout the exercise.
Basically should perform the exercise as proudly as you can.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and that you have a better idea of good form during exercise.