Reaching a fitness level where your body moves as one and you get to see the result of all the hard work you put in relies on your form. Sustaining a great form throughout each rep can help you maximise the use of your muscles, become more flexible and reduce injury. Here is what you need to know.
How do you know if you are maintaining good form?
There is no clear cut method when it comes to form as this will be based on what exercise you are doing. However, there is a general rule of thumb that can help you check if you are doing whatever workout you are focused on correctly:
Check that whatever posture you are holding does not increase your chances of injury and when you move you do not feel any sharp or uncomfortable pain. This is important especially when it comes to areas you are not targeting.
Check that your form allows you to maximise your body i.e. you can move your limbs more efficiently, it boosts your endurance and helps you reserve energy when you are doing high-intensity workouts.
Check that you are able to pause within a workout with control. This is a good indicator that you are maintaining good form. Remember it is not about how fast you can do it, but how efficiently you can do it. It will take trial and error to control your breathing and working your core to balance out your form, but when you do, you will realise that it helps you get the most out of each workout.
What can you do to improve your form?
Reaching a point where your body looks like a well-oiled machine throughout any workout requires time. You may have to move down a level, decrease your speed and even learn breathing techniques that keep you balanced and boost your endurance. Just keep in mind that it's not about speed but executing great form throughout. You can improve your form by:
Taking things slow
If you find that the current level of exercise is so strenuous that you pass out like a tonne of bricks on the couch, you may need to slow down. A common myth is that if there is no pain, there is no gain. Not only is this dangerous, but it can increase your chances of injuring yourself badly. Listen to your body and go at a challenging but comfortable pace.
Utilise your back and core
How you use your core and back can impact your form. Both of these are powerhouses to stabilizing your body and getting the most of every muscle in your body. Try to keep your back straight throughout each workout and suck in your navel to toughen your core. Doing this can help preserve energy and take off pressure from your joints.
Improve your breathing
If you find yourself holding your breath or taking in short sharp breaths throughout a workout, you could be holding the wrong form. Not breathing properly through a workout can cause you to become tired quickly since there is not enough oxygen flow through your muscles. It also places more strain on your joints and muscles than it should. Remember to take in deep breathes and exhale in a rhythmic pattern.