One factor that can really make or break your strength training progress is the form you exhibit when exercising. If you don’t have a personal trainer showing you the ropes, you might end up doing the exercises incorrectly, which can either prevent you from making progress, or even lead to injury.
In strength training, it is important to strive toward perfect form in order to safely sculpt and tone those muscles.
The bench press seems to be one of those exercises that men always compete over. It’s always about how much you can “bench”, but this is all in vain if proper form is not practiced. Commonly, weight lifters put too much weight on the bar, and the stress forces them to arch their backs when performing the lift. This puts a great deal of strain on the connective tissues of the back and neck, and doesn’t work the intended muscle group as effectively.
Squats are a classic exercise that many gym-goers’ practice. The danger with this exercise is in hyperflexing or hyperextending your knees.
“Locking your knees upon standing hyperextends the knees, and squatting so deeply that your calf is pressed against your thigh hyperflexes the knee”. – LiveScience
Pushing your body in this manner can create small tears in your joints, which can potentially cause your joints to wear out. The key lies in choosing the correct amount of weight and only adding more when your body is ready.
Even though there usually isn’t any sort of external weight involved, planking is a great strength training exercise for your core. To release some of the tension in this exercise, some people tend to relax their hips and drop them towards the floor. This is not proper form. This means that your abs aren’t flexed and you aren’t, in fact, engaged in the exercise. Make sure that your spine is in a straight line and that your arms are no further than shoulder width apart. Also, keep your head facing downward and refrain from lifting your chin, which can lead to back and neck strain.
Have you ever seen those individuals who swing their weights vigorously all over the place when practicing their bicep curls? Well, that’s not really helping them build bicep size and strength. Some weight lifters make the mistake of swinging the weight without fully engaging or flexing their biceps. If you need that much momentum to get the weights up, you aren’t exhibiting proper form. Opt for less resistance and perfect your form before adding more weight.