Using Proper Form
by jeff denson
Above all else, every exercise MUST BE DONE IN PROPER FORM. If for
any reason you feel you can't do an exercise in proper form, then DON'T DO IT.
Everyone has specific issues that must be addressed, such as flexibility, past
injuries, arthritis, etc. that may prevent them from doing an exercise properly.
In these cases, an alternate exercise may need to be substituted.
The most important reason for sticking to proper form is safety. While there
is no such thing as a 100% safe exercise (I've known people who've thrown their back
out bending over to tie their shoes or unloading a dishwasher), we should strive to
be as safe as possible. The exercises I have chosen have been used for years by
thousands of people and have been proven to be generally safe without long term
negative consequences. If you choose to modify the exercise, it may feel alright
now, but what are the long term effects going to be on the joints involved? Is
it going to slowly damage the joint in a way that you won't feel until five,
maybe ten years from now? I don't know and neither do you. And I'm not
interested in running a long term study on you to find out. If I chose to do an
exercise in a specific way, then I have chosen that way because it has been done
that way for years and the effectiveness and long term effects are well known.
I'm not an exercise scientist. I'm not out to invent new exercises, I just want
to use the ones that have been around long enough to know that they are safe. If
you have a standard beloved exercise that you would like to add, then by all
means ask about it and I will consider it. However, if you want to experiment
and invent new exercises, you'll have to do so on you own, because you won't do them
with me - period don't ask.
By changing an exercise, you may be changing which muscles are dominant for
that exercise. Each exercise is selected because it works a particular muscle
group. By changing the angle, grip, range of motion, body position, etc. you may
be changing which muscles are the primary movers for that exercise. This will
reduce the overall effectiveness of the workouts. It's essential that each
exercise work the intended muscle group. If you change the exercise form, you
will probably reduce the effectiveness of the overall workout plan.
Use the Appropriate Weight
It's not the weight that's important, but the results that
Always use a weight that is light enough to allow you to complete your set in
proper form. Using a weight that is too heavy may impress the other gym rats,
but it won't produce the desired results. At best, it simply won't work the
correct muscles; And at worst it might cause an injury.
And we've all seen it, someone doing curls using their whole body to swing a big
weight. And I'm not talking about a little bit of body English such as in cheat
curls, I'm talking about using pure momentum to sling a weight that is so heavy
they have to let it drop uncontrolled on the negative portion. This has almost NO BENEFIT for their biceps, which is why you do curls.
It's their back and hips that are doing all the work. It may impress the other gym
rats, but their biceps will never grow doing curls in this fashion. They're
wasting their time. And of course, later they'll complain that they can't grow big
biceps because they are a hard gainer, or genetically challenged, or some other
nonsense, when in reality they're just an ineffective trainer. You will get
bigger biceps by using a
lighter weight and doing the exercise in proper form. Remember, it's not the
weight you lift, but the results you get that count.