Are you lifting those weights correctly? It is important to work out with proper from if you want to minimize injuries and maximize results. It really doesn’t matter how heavy that weight is if you are doing it all wrong. Guys tend to fall victim to poor form more often than the girls. The reason? Men tend to get a bit carried away with the amount of weight they are lifting.
What is good form?
Form is the quality with which you perform an exercise or routine. The better method you employ while performing a specific exercise, the better the workout for the targeted muscle group. So in other words, you are better off lifting a lighter weight perfectly and with good form than a heavier weight incorrectly, or with poor form.
Tips for good form.
There are three main components that determine your form when lifting weights or performing an exercise (like crunches).
* Control your speed. Slow measured and accurate movements are best. The faster the motion the less chance you are in control. The heavier the weight and the faster the motion the more chance that the weight is controlling you as opposed to you being in control. Don’t let gravity assist you with the downwards part of the motion. Stay in charge. Steady movements are best.
* Stability. The part of your body that you are exercising should be moving. The rest of your body should be still. It can be very easy to use other muscle groups to assist (or cheat) with the exercise, which only detracts from the effectiveness of the workout. Your body should not be rocking backwards or forwards.
* Full range of motion. The whole motion needs to be performed. Halfway is only half a workout. Go all the way through, and then all the way back.
Good form for the gals.
Females are generally not quite so guilty of working out with poor form as the men. Generally, women tend to not complete the full range of motion. It is important to complete the range, otherwise the exercise is pretty much a waste. Keep an eye on that mirror and ensure you are fully extending and flexing. If you are unsure get a trainer to watch you for one session to ensure you are doing it right.
Good form for the guys.
Men’s poor form pretty much stems from the fact they attempt to lift weights that are too heavy for their strength. As a direct result, many men rush their lifts. Another popular example of poor form is enlisting the aid of other muscle groups to help with the lift. You should only be using the specific and targeted muscles. If you can’t, lessen the weight and go back to the basics. Once you can lift the weight perfectly, then start upping the weight.
Rocking your body weight is poor form, as is ”jerking’, “bouncing” or “kicking” where the momentum of body weight is used to finish the lift and then the weight returns using gravity. These sorts of cheating movements are not only totally defeating the purpose, but are also high risk for joint strains.
How to achieve good form.
* Start out with light weights that you can manage until you have perfected the movement.
* Seek the advice of a professional when first starting out. Once you have the moves down you can go it alone.
* Use mirrors to keep your motions in check.
* Don’t train when you are injured or sick. In both instances you will be unable to give your all to the workout.
* Concentrate on the correct motions and isolate the muscle group you are working on. Taking your mind off the job can easily lead to sloppy workouts and injuries. For example, how to get a six pack? When doing crunches, really focus on those core muscles and abdominals, concentrate on your breathing and do not allow your neck muscles to take the pressure off.
* Breathe. Remember to keep breathing while you are doing your routine. Holding your breath will result in your muscles being deprived of oxygen faster.
Proper form is essential to both lessen injuries and to define muscles. Lifting a lighter weight perfectly is far more effective than lifting a heavier weight with poor form.