So today during our workout, we took a couple of videos to show our form.
The first video is of one of our favorite exercises – deadlifts. This is during my warm up round.
1. I set my feet and my hands. My feet are a little wider than shoulder width apart and my hands are right outside my shins.
2. I sink low, putting my weight in my heels.
3. I put tension on the bar by pulling up as I raise my head and chest. (You always want your head and chest up instead of sagging toward the floor. This will keep your back from rounding. I sometimes even like to raise my chin right before I settle in to remind myself to keep my chest up. And you can also look at the ceiling to remind yourself not to round. Don’t pull your whole head up. Just pick a place with your eyes.)
4. I pull up on the bar by pushing through my heels, keeping my butt down. (Don’t let your butt come up too fast or you will put more strain on your back.)
5. As I pull up, I keep the bar close to my legs. (Usually my pants or shins are scrapped up from the bar after a deadlifting workout!)
6. At the top I lock out by squeezing my glutes and pressing my hips forward.
The other main lift we did today was bench. After a push up/pull up pyramid yesterday it wasn’t easy. Candy rocked it out though. Below is one of her sets.
1. Set your hands about shoulder width apart.
2. Tuck your elbows in slightly as you lower the bar. (Your upper arms actually shouldn’t be at a 90 degree angle to your torso because this puts more pressure on your shoulders.)
3. Lower the bar all the way to your chest/upper abs.
4. Press back up, locking out your elbows. Always push back toward the rack.
5. Throughout the movement try not to arch and keep your feet on the ground.
Now go out and lift!! Work on those Man Biceps! 🙂
Why doesn’t there ever seem to be a simple yes or no answer when it comes to exercise?
I constantly worry about my form and I always cringe when I see people (mostly men…yes you men who think you know everything about lifting) lifting heavy weights with improper form. You CAN hurt yourself if you are lifting heavy weights with incorrect form!!!! Your back shouldn’t be rounded when you do a deadlift!
If you are just starting to lift or even an experienced lifter, it is always good to have your form checked and to learn correct movement patterns. It will help prevent injuries from occurring. Also, when you use correct form, you will be engaging the correct muscles which will help you lift more!
BUT…yes there always seems to be a BUT…
But while form is important there are going to be times when you need to push through those last couple reps even though your form has broken down. Pushing through those last awful reps is what is going to make you stronger.
As a trainer, I allow some clients to have less than perfect form when they are starting out. I’ll spend part of our session working on their form, which will help them as they get stronger. I want them to develop good movement patterns so that they can prevent injury.
BUT (again with the buts!) I also do sometimes just push them to move even if their form breaks down a little bit. If your client wants to lose weight, they need to move. Plus excess weight could be distorting his or her movement patterns. SO sometimes letting someone work up a sweat is more important than focusing every second on proper form. BUT don’t let them go too heavy if their movement patterns need some work.
I guess a rule that I go by is that it is ok for form to break down when:
A. You are performing the last couple reps of a set. (This means you used a challenging weight!)
B. You are performing a max rep.
C. You are overweight and trying to learn form, but also just starting to become active. (Add weight slowly as your form improves. Using heavy weights with bad form for more than a few reps will put you at risk for injuries.)
Let me know what you think! Is form important?