Generally, any exercise is better than no exercise at all, but could we do ourselves more harm than good if our exercise technique or form is not ideal?
Our exercise movement doesn’t have to be perfect, after all we’re not robots, we don’t go through life rigidly. However, we should be conscious about the ways we are moving with exercise, notably how we are breathing and what our posture looks like. Over time, poor exercise movement can lead to muscle imbalances and unforeseen injuries.
Our posture or how we hold ourselves during exercise is of particular importance. If we’re going through movements carelessly, hunched over, or lacking tension in our torso, we could put our lower back, shoulders, and other areas in a vulnerable position. This is true especially when adding additional weight such as dumbbells or kettlebells. A common movement that is less than ideal is arching the lower back while pressing weight overhead. This leads to unnecessary strain on the lower back and could set us up for an injury. A quick fix could be signal arm presses instead of double, staggering the feet, and keeping the glutes squeezed.
Here are a few common examples of less-than-ideal form when performing basic exercises with added weight:
A) Rounding the spine while squatting or lunging.
B) Shrugging or rounding the shoulders or upper back while pushing or pulling.
C) Holding your breath while moving through each exercise.
D) Overarching the lower back while performing core exercises on the floor.
There are tons of generic exercises available to us in an instant, but we are unique individuals and exercise movements look different on each of us. Nevertheless, the basics of proper form remain the same for fundamental exercises when done with added weight:
A) Keep the spine straight when squatting or lunging.
B) Keep the shoulders down and back with the lats engaged when pushing or pulling which will prevent rounding of the upper back and stress in the neck.
C) Exhale during the challenging part of the exercise.
D) To prevent overarching the lower back while on the floor keep tension in the core along with a slight pelvic tilt.
It is simple to modify any exercise we can’t do properly until we can perform that movement correctly. Efficiency in movement is key in using our time wisely during exercise and gaining the best results. The more we exercise the greater body awareness we develop, which will help us move easily and effortlessly without much thought. When all is said and done, we could simply make better use of our time, stay injury free and gain greater results from our effort and energy if we did our exercises correctly and with more care and thought.
Useful practical information and a workout or two...