Workout Wednesday – Form is Everything

by DavalosMcCormack on April 29, 2009

You may have read Shirley’s blog from last Friday about how she had a little mishap in the gym, falling backwards off a balance ball and dropping a 15 lb weight on her shin.

The result was a huge bump on her leg that was as big as a softball. No kidding. Well, a few days has gone by and the swelling has gone down a lot and she’s able to move around (to be honest she even went horseback riding over the weekend and it was fine) but she’s not quite back to normal which means she is an unhappy camper.

And that’s where I come in.

One thing you have to know about Shirley is she hates not being able to run or jump or play squash. She gets really frustrated and wants to speed everything up, she wants everything to heal super fast so she can get back to doing the things she loves.

My job is to slow her down. To make her appreciate that sometimes the body needs to get better in its own time and doesn’t respond to our needs.

That’s not much consolation but it is also a reminder that the best way to avoid that level of frustration is to have good form.  Good form really is the key to safe, productive workouts.

Now good form doesn’t just mean looking cute while doing something. Though I hate to admit, cuteness counts. But in the gym you can see all sorts of different ways of doing things – there are the serial grunters who use volume to indicate how hard they are working out; there are the exploding veiners whose veins bulge and faces go red with effort to show that they are serious; then there are the folks who just focus on what they are doing and realize that a grimace is no real indication of effort, that the only true measure of how hard you worked out is how tired your muscles are.

So, whatever you are doing, make sure you have good form. If it’s a sit up don’t do as so many people do and bend from the neck. Do it like this.

If you want to do push ups do it like this.

Why is form important? Because if you don’t have good form you risk injuring yourself. If you don’t have good form you don’t get the most out of your workout.

So when you start a new exercise focus on the technique to begin with. Make sure you have the mechanics right before you start really pushing it.

If it’s an exercise that involves using weights then start out using small weights until you have the form correct.

Form isn’t just function. Form is everything.

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