Proper form when exercising is crucial in helping minimize injuries. Conducting proper form can also alter your body composition (i.e. hunched back), and can increase your strength in powerlifting compound movements. Believe it or not, conducting proper form is not as common and practiced as one may think.
When I see someone doing an exercise a certain way, sometimes I am curious as to ask, “Why are they performing the exercise this way? However, before I ask, I observe and watch. For example if that person is performing a Barbell Squat, are the feet too wide, the depth of the squat, are the knees bowing in, and is that person struggling to keep the chest high?
Why do people neglect proper form?
One reason I believe people neglect form is due to ego. Yes, ego. Within men and women, especially when performing compound movements such as squat, bench press, and deadlift. We all want to be the strongest one in the gym, but what about being the healthiest one?
Proper form when exercising has become a lost arc in the fitness world. In my opinion, it is because of being taught bad technique, no one correcting bad technique, or someone being comfortable in performing a movement for so long with bad technique, they do not want to change it. Again, ego.
Check Your Ego
When trying to reconfigure your form, the first thing you have to do is check your ego. The heavy squat reps you were able to do in the past, you may have to reduce the weight to begin practicing proper form. Along with other exercises that have bad technique. It will be very humbling at first because you are tempted to go heavy, but I promise if you start at a lighter weight with good form you will be able to work back up to that heavy weight, maybe even more!
The benefits of practicing and maintaining proper form will keep your back straight and not put any added pressure on the tendon parts of your muscles. For example, the thoracic extension is when you keep your back raised and your shoulders straight so that you do not stretch any of those. There is always the chance of spraining your muscles or worse while lifting dumbbells. Your lower back is perhaps the most important part of your body while exercising. Any impulses or inability to lift something can damage that part of your body risking chronic pain. If that is left unchecked, you will face trouble while trying to walk. In closing, the most important benefit in practicing proper form is your health.
When discussing form, it is not the most glamorous topic to talk about. In fact, talking about form is boring. We just want to exercise in hopes of obtaining the body we want without proper technique (form) and or nutrition. That’s false! Please practice good form even without any weights, practice the motion of the exercise with your body only before loading weight and performing the exercise. You will greatly see the benefits not only short term, but long term benefits outside of the gym.