In general, we want to be the best. We want to run faster, jump higher, squat lower, lift more weight and sink deeper into yoga poses. While these can be great goals, more is not always better. Too much of a “good” thing isn’t always a good thing. Not when that good thing could lead to losing proper form, which leads to injury. Let me explain.
- Running too fast could hurt your ankles, knees, hips and back if your body isn’t ready for it.
- Squatting lower could lead to knee problems if your alignment fails and back problems if you can’t get back up.
- Lifting more weight doesn’t make you stronger if you lose your proper form. Plus, the bigger the weight load you’re bearing, the bigger the injury could be.
- Getting deeper in a yoga pose might mean you’re overstretching or falling out of alignment.
These are just some examples, but the dangers are very real. All of these examples have one thing in common: maintaining proper form. Having good form is so important that many trainers (myself included) stress proper form over speed or depth. In short: Moving slowly with good form is better than fast movements with poor form.
Top tips for proper form
- Try to move through your entire range of motion.
- Master the basics before trying intermediate or advanced moves.
- If you feel your form failing, slow down or take a break.
- Give your muscles a chance to recover in between consecutive sets.
- Ask a professional to review your form every now and then.
Good form is essential when trying to get stronger, run faster or gain flexibility. Without it, you increase your risk of injury. So slow down. Don’t rush through the exercises just to finish faster. Be mindful of your movements. And most of all, practice proper form every time you work out. You’ll thank yourself later.