“Good Form”: What does that really mean?
WHAT IS GOOD FORM?
Many people try to tell you what good form is by nit-picking exercises. To execute an exercise safely and get the most of it, there are aspects that must be performed. While trying to perform an exercise with “good form”, it is important to remember that everyone’s body is different. Not everyone’s exercise will look exactly the same. Focus on the importance of good form, and less on if you are doing it “perfectly”.
Jarlo from GMB Fitness eloquently put this idea: “When you move with good form, your body works together as a unit, rather than as a collection of parts. Proper technique is a combination of body stability and mobility in the respective appropriate areas.” If nothing is engaged, you cant provide any stability to your limbs. If everything is as tight as can be, you won’t move either. Neither of which are most beneficial. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind good form pointers to maintain the perfect length-tension relationships of your muscles, and keep all the force couples evenly matched.
3 MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF GOOD FORM:
#1 Good form does NOT look the same on everyone. Everyone’s body is different, and therefore everyone’s “perfect” form may also look different.
An example of this for squats: Have you ever been told to keep your feet facing directly forward? Well, some people require a slight foot turnout during their squat because of the formation of the head of their femur bone. It can be uncomfortable deep in the hip joint for these individuals if forced to keep their feet directly facing forward. Often people consider “feet forward” as an essential to proper squat mechanics. The most important thing is to find a comfortable squat position for your body.
#2 Good form prevents injury or muscular imbalance.
Let’s say you plank everyday as a part of your workout. Imagine if you did so without firing any of your scapular stabilizers. Eventually, the support structures of your shoulders will get irritated, potentially even injured. Without scapular stability, The shoulder joint cannot bear the weight of the body. By engaging the proper muscles groups (in this case, scapular stabilizers, core and glutes) you create proximal stability that allows you to hold the plank position with no harm to your shoulder joints. In fact, it’s a great tool to train shoulder stability!
#3 Good form is like a foundation for functional movement and progression; without it you cannot build on.
Once good form is established in any movement, it is time to progress forward. Not before that point. If you can’t perform a plank hold, than it is not time yet to try plank toe-taps, or plank jumping jacks. Your body is giving you a sign that it is still a beginner when good form can’t be completed. Maybe you need more flexibility to get the fundamentals of a movement down. Or maybe you still need to build strength. Either way, listen to your body’s sign so you don’t take two steps forward to end up three steps backward.
EXAMPLES OF GOOD FORM?
Below are images from our instagram and facebook that indicate “good form” in these movements. Remember, if your body proportions are different, your execution may look slightly different, but it is important to know which muscles should be turned on, and roughly where your body should be positioned in space regardless. Check out our instagram or facebook to learn more specifics about each of these exercises!
For fun, HANDSTAND:
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