When it comes to working out quality is more important than quantity. How you lift and how you run, jump or stroke may mean the difference between going harder and getting sidelined. Beginners should expect to devote time to learning proper form. Even the more experienced can benefit from some occasional form feedback. Perfecting form will boost performance, conserve energy and reduce injuries over time.
Proper form reduces the likelihood of injury
Poor form places undue emphasis on muscles, tendons and ligaments leading to strains and sprains. Good mechanics reduces overcompensation and the likelihood of injury.
Why work harder when you can work smarter? Proper form helps you work out more efficiently so you can use your energy for the extra push rather than wasted movements.
Hones your focus
Improper form may mean you are targeting unintended muscles or muscle groups. The better your form the better your results – run faster, lift more and jump higher when you do it right.
Supports oxygen flow
Good form helps you breathe more fully and supports better oxygen intake. That means extra wind beneath your workout wings. You’ll fly higher.
While it is true that poor form increases the risk of bodily injuries there is another danger. Incorrect form may cause equipment related injuries. Kettle bells, weights, plyometric boxes and jump ropes are all prime sources of injury. Remember to focus on quality (low weights, low reps) over quantity while you master form.
Helps you perform consistently
Proper form means you are doing the same thing the same way every time. Mixing it up is great in many places but not with things like bicep curls. Your form must be consistent for continued strengthening, toning and performance.
How to learn proper form
Ideally, you will work with a trainer. He or she can monitor your movements and reposition your body as needed until the correct form becomes second nature. When a trainer is not available consider using a mirror to observe your form. Go slowly and make corrections as needed. Alternatively, you can view recordings of your performance and ask someone familiar with correct form for your sport to offer critique and feedback.
A few last words…Even after you have mastered proper form for your sport, check in with a trainer periodically for feedback. Things like injuries and exhaustion can erode form. It is better to get back on track as soon as possible and a certified fitness specialist can help.