It’s im­por­tant to use proper form with re­sis­tance train­ing

The Hamilton Spectator - - HEALTH - WINA STURGEON

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.

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