Form. What exactly is it, and why does it have to be good? If someone asked you, “Hey brah/brahette, why do I have to lift with good form?” What would be your answer? You may say that it yields the most gains from using good form or, that it actually prevents injury. We’ve heard it being regurgitated over and over, in the gym, that good form is to prevent injury. It’s like when we were in P.E, we had to do things in certain manners because, it help prevent injury. A lot of things we do in bodybuilding, is to prevent long term problems that can keep us out of the gym. The worst nightmare for a bodybuilder or anyone in the fitness industry who loves training, is getting some type of gym related injury that holds them off from training for months! Imagine, that’s nearly all your gains being lost because you didn’t lift something in the right manner!
If you don’t want this ever happening, keep reading this article. I am not going to provide you the proper form or explanation on what the proper form for each exercise is, because that would take forever but I will provide a lovely link that carries you to a fitness training online library that shows you how nearly all the exercises possible at the gym, should be performed!
Good form is used to help with utilizing the most out of your training and receiving the max amount of gains possible. The reason for form, at least one of them, is to make sure that you’re working out the muscle you’re dedicated to training. So if for example, you decide you want to do bicep curls, with dumbbells and do specifically Alternate DB Bicep Curls. You want to stand with your legs shoulder width apart from each other. This allows for a good stance and control over the movements you’re going to lift. It allows for complete balance so that you don’t end up toppling over, or any other movement useless to the exercise or may cause injury.
After you’ve got your legs spread apart, you have your dumbbells in your hand, lay beside your body. I am sure you know by now how to do a alternate bicep curl, but concentrating on the contracting of the bicep muscles, and not swinging the weight up, allows for near total control of the movement of the weight on the biceps. Now the thing is, if you warm up properly with high reps and allow for blood flow to move towards your muscles to provide adequate amount of oxygen and energy to your muscle for complete contraction and control, this allows you to have better form with a weight that you may be only able to do 8 reps with.
Form is even more important when you are lifting heavy, and trying to maintain balance and control. Exercising is meant to target the muscle directly, and have supporting muscles assist with the movements as is designed by the skeletomuscular system. It’s inevitable that certain muscle groups will come into play when doing exercises, but there’s no reason why your hamstring or lower back should be worked out while doing bicep curls! Forearms yes, maybe a little shoulder from swinging up the weight but even then wer’re stretching our luck. Controlled, precise and powerful movements of the dumbbell from the side of your body, to your shoulder level and back down, allows for yet again, complete focus on the bicep muscle alone. You may experience a little swing but if you’re propelling basically, 45 lbs from your body and then back towards your body at the end of the bicep curls, it’s no wonder you’re going to move. That’s the point of spreading your legs and having them planted firmly on the ground. This support helps you from toppling over, as hilarious at that sounds. But imagine if your legs were closer together and you were trying to pull that weight up from your side, it is more impossible to do that if you don’t have support for your whole body while engaging in this activity.
Good form is used in all aspects of life. When you are trying to pick something up from the ground, it’s more useful to stoop down and pick it up. Or if you’re picking up a heavy object like a couch and moving it with someone, squatting with your legs wide apart and lifting, helps with good body mechanics, and prevents injury.
Some things to keep in mind when you are training, to utilize excellent form at all times:
1) Know how to perform the exercise properly with low weight. Don’t try to get all cocky and have your ego skyrocket because if you get embarrassed quick, the gym is the wrong place to be. You want to know how to perform that particular exercise before engaging in any higher weights.
2) Do smooth and relaxed movements through the exercise, giving yourself, your muscles, your joints, etc, a good feel of the movement. This is how you execute proper form, even when you go heavier. The feel of a movement, helps with control overall throughout the movement.
3) Have confidence and be 100% sure, you are doing the exercise properly. If you are not sure, referred to any online exercise library and make sure you have a mental note of it before trying it out at the gym.
4) Make sure at all times, throughout whatever exercise, that your legs are nicely secured, leg securement (yeah, I made up the word) is always a must during exercises. It allows for balance, even if you’re doing butterfly presses for your chest, some like your legs on top of the bench, others like to have their legs securely planted on the ground. It doesn’t matter which way you prefer, the legs must be securely placed on whatever surface they are on.
The best way to gain size, is using proper form. It’s not only to prevent injury but like I was saying before, if you focus on the muscle group that’s being trained, it gets the most out of the workout. The type 2 muscle fibers are stressed out even more, and repair will allow for growth.
Finally, a good way to finish off an exercise and help with form, is contracting the muscle at it’s peak point. Example would be contracting the bicep muscles when doing bicep curls.
I have found this website to be very useful in helping me know how to perform certain exercises in their right form. ExRx allowed me to feel confident when I was doing particular exercises that I hadn’t encountered before. It also helped when I gained weight on the exercises, to make sure I was able to push more and not get injured. ExRx.net, is a fitness directory. It has nearly all the types of exercises possible, and has the most common one’s definitely. Just click on the muscle group and the type of exercise and you’re good to go. Or you can google the exercise you want to do and they are generally the first or second choice that comes up!Read More »