The importance of proper form

Proper form is extremely important. For two main reasons:

  • safety (avoid injuries)
  • efficiency

Not using problem form might lead to serious injuries especially with heavy lifts like squat and deadlift where you can really hurt your back.

Cheating is wrong

When you don’t use proper form, like when you cheat because the weight is too heavy or you’re tired. You don’t train the muscles you’re suppose to work with that exercise. An you expose yourself to injuries. Typical example is those guys doing hip thrust while trying to do biceps curls. You want to train you hip flexors or your arms? Better use a lighter weight and do it correctly. This way your biceps will get a good stimulation.

If the bar is too heavy, deload and do it correctly. If you’re too tired and your form starts to suffer from it, use a lighter weight, do less reps or rest a little more between sets.You’ll get best results by correctly doing lighters reps or less reps than trying to do high reps or heavy lifting with improper form.

*** That doesn’t mean grinding is wrong As long as you can maintain proper form, it’s OK. An also, it is normal to see your form degrading when you’re trying to do real heavy lifting, like when you try to beat your PR but this shouldn’t be done more then a few times a year. And you do it at your own risk*** 

Partials are for sissies

Another thing I see all the time at the gym are those guys who stack the bar with plates to show how strong they are and then do partial squats. Or at the bench press: using a super wide grip and lowering the bar half way, or worst bouncing off your chest (possible injury!). Same thing with the leg press, biceps curls, pull-ups, etc…

What is the point of having a huge load if you only move it a few inches? You might impress the ignorant or stupid ones. But to experienced lifters you just look like plain morons.

You don’t work your muscles this way, you’re just training your ego. At the very least you don’t reap the full potential of the exercise you’re trying to perform.  Better use a lighter weight  that let you use full ROM. This way you’ll end up with something to brag about.

*** In same cases partials can be useful, but not as your main form of training. I’ll write another article on ROM later on ***

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