It’s important to use proper form with resistance training
Resistance work is basically the balancing of weight on the bones of the skeleton. This is why proper form is so important. For example, on a bench press, it’s essential to hold the bar so that an equal amount of weight is allotted to each arm. If the bar is held unequally, with more length on one side of the body, that side will be holding more weight and will have to compensate for the weaker efforts of the other side, which stresses the side holding more weight.
But there’s more to proper resistance form than just lifting the weight in a balanced position. Your breathing is very important. For example, in a squat, you use your breathing to give more support to your efforts. Breathing deeply as you squat down stabilizes muscles in the abs, which makes the squat easier.
Exhaling air as you stand up makes the bar feel lighter, thus easier to balance.
Danny Romanno, a gym manager in the Salt Lake City area, offers wise advice to those who are tackling resistance without the help of a trainer.
“Remember to breathe in and out with each rep,” Romanno says. “Never hold your breath while doing reps. Use slower and controlled movements for a better workout that’s also safer.”
Romano adds that it’s good to start each workout with a lighter weight and add more poundage with each set, working up to your max weight.
“Research proper form for each exercise so you learn it thoroughly. Never forget about good posture as well as technique. Good posture, like a deadlift with a flat back, or keeping the spine straight with squatting will prevent the mistake of putting mechanical stress on just one or two vertebrae of the spine.”
One great way to learn if you’re using proper form is to have a friend videotape you while you’re working out. This is, in fact, what most professional sports teams do. Then the coach goes over the video, analyzing each athlete’s technique. Since self judgment on these matters can be far from accurate, it’s worth the money to spend an hour or so with a good professional trainer and having him or her analyze your form by watching the video.
To obtain proper feedback, ask a friend or trainer to observe you as you use weights or machines. Instead of having them act as a spotter, have them tell you where your form is off, or even move the weight you’re lifting into its proper position. Concentrate on putting that corrected change into your muscle memory.
Repeat the correct version of the movement until you’re totally on top when it comes to proper form.
Good posture, like a deadlift with a flat back, or keeping the spine straight with squatting will prevent placing stress on just one or two vertebrae of the spine.