If you want your workouts to count and produce a fitter, healthier and more attractive body, then you want to understand and practice proper exercise form. Proper form when extending and retracting your muscles optimizes calorie burn and results. Neglecting for causes you to work out inefficiently. Poor form can also mean unnecessary stress on joints, misalignment and injury. Exercise with a rounded back and one day something’ s gonna snap. Lock your elbows at the end of a chest fly and your joints are going to protest. Even if you’ve been able to get away with less-than-perfect form and are injury free, you are not getting the most, if anything, out of your workout. So, what exactly is good exercise form? Here are a few of the basics of form to keep in mind:
Keep you back straight but not arched. If your back is curved while you add a weighted load to any exercise, you are placing an unhealthy strain on your back
Activate your core (trunk muscles) when performing any movement. The more stable your core, the less risk of injury.
Isolate the muscle group you are working. Make sure you can feel those muscles – and only those muscles – during an exercise. That means, for example, if you are doing a biceps curl, the only body part that should be moving is the portion of your arm between your hand and elbow. Your back, shoulders and legs should not get in on act. That means no swaying, rocking or any other ways of helping that weight up.
Choose a grip when using dumbbells that feels most comfortable and natural to you. Your grip should be firm but not too tight. Squeezing the equipment wastes valuable energy that should be exerted in the exercise.
Always control the exercise – no rapid, jerky movements, which place harmful stress on the joint ligaments. Jerky motions actually give the weight so much impetus that it practically glides to the midpoint of the repetition, using little muscular force to get there. As a result, muscles encounter limited resistance. Without resistance, muscles aren’t properly challenged and may not respond as well. If you can’t lift the weight without jerking it, then it is too heavy. Try a lighter weight. Strict style and technique are more important than the amount of weight you lift.
At the midpoint or top of the exercise, pause for a second to tense your muscles. Then lower the weight slowly again, accentuating the negative portion of the lift. Your muscles thus get maximum stimulation from the exercise.
Breathe naturally as you exercise. Never hold your breath. Holding your breath cuts oxygen supply to the blood and, coupled with the exertion of the lift, could cause lightheadedness or fainting.