Any athlete, regardless of whether they're a beginner or experienced - should always be thinking about their technique when they train. There are countless reasons why perfecting your form needs to be something you swear by - from avoiding injury, to maximising the results of your exercise.

Memorise the main reasons you should consider technique in whatever exercise you're performing:

  • To prevent injury
  • Ensuring correct muscle targeting
  • To maintain proper breathing
  • Enabling you to lift more weight
  • To maximise your progress and results
To understand correct technique, we also need to address what kind of exercises you should be perfecting your form for. There are two main types of exercises when it comes to weightlifting - ISOLATION and COMPOUND. Isolation exercises are specific and work only one body part. Compound exercises use more than muscle at a time - usually one main muscle and some smaller muscle groups. Additionally, exercises can be categorised into terms like: AEROBIC, STRENGTH, ENDURANCE, FLEXIBILITY, CROSSFIT, STRONGMAN, HYPERTROPHY. The list never ends. Whether your forte is powerlifting, if you prefer long distance running or regularly swim, technique is applicable to any exercise. One of the first factors to consider is your spine. Proper back alignment is essential in injury prevention and unless you're performing an exercise that directly targets your lower back, your lower back should remain neutral or slightly arched (concave) when exercising. The next body part or area to consider, is the body part that's being worked. If you're targeting your arms at the gym, consider factors like the weight you've picked and your range of motion when performing an exercise. A suitable weight to work with is one that challenges you, but simultaneously allows you maintain a strong core, proper posture, avoid swinging to help alleviate the heavy weight and maintain correct breathing.

Remember that the quality of the rep is more important than lifting a heavier or weight or getting in as many repetitions as you can.

If you're running on the treadmill, consider the state of your whole body. Is your back protected with suitable running shoes? Are you breathing correctly? Are you striding with the heels of your feet touching the treadmill first? Do your feet stomp without you realising and you're risking injury to your knees? You may not realise it, but proper technique also aids in avoiding working unnecessary muscles. Like mentioned above, if the weight you pick is too heavy to properly execute bicep curls, you may end up straining your wrists or working an entirely different body part. If you don't understand how to properly engage the muscles being worked, you may be working other muscles over time to compensate. Let us know what you think and send your questions and feedback to Form

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