Form Before Function

So you’ve taken your gym shoes out of hibernation and resolved to make use of the gym membership you pay good money for. The problem is that you’re not really sure what to do when you get to the gym. Knowing the benefits of strength training, you decide to just go for it and copy what others do. After all, they seem to know what they’re doing. Right?

Hats off to you for making it to the gym and wanting to add fitness to your life. The only problem is that you may have chosen to follow someone’s bad technique. Good form is crucial when performing any exercise. Bad form leaves you more prone to injury, and you won’t get the most out of your workouts.

A push-up, for example: Someone with bad form will lower their upper torso to the ground, but leave their butt up in the air. Often they neglect to engage their core muscles, so the lower back is compromised and incorrect placement of the hands strains the wrong areas. This makes the exercise strenuous for your neck, shoulders and back. When performing the exercise properly, your core is fully engaged, and your whole body works in unison for an effective core and chest strengthening exercise.

If you are determined to figure things out on your own, please do some research. Otherwise you may end up with strains or injuries, not to mention frustration from a lack of results. Trust me, no one gets a nice tight butt from doing squats and lunges the wrong way!

Alternatively, you may decide to join some of the group fitness classes your gym offers, but weary if the instructor is just standing up at the front of the class getting a great workout, rather than watching your form. Group fitness is a great way to get motivated and learn proper technique if your instructor is doing a good job. At Best Body Bootcamp we consider ourselves more of a group personal training class because we put great emphasis on form so that members get great results and avoid injury.

There are tons of books and even fitness magazines these days that show you step by step instructions on various exercises to target different muscle groups. A great resource is Strength Training Anatomy by Frederic Delavier because it shows what muscles are at work during an exercise.

Yours in Health,
Roger Nahas

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image courtesy of M.V. Jantzen on flickr


1 thought on “Form Before Function”

  1. Hey Roger . . . I spend a lot of time operating a Steadicam as part of my job on television show produced daily. What do you recommend for strengthening abs and back both upper and lower?

    As I will be working out alone I am considering using the iPhone app iFitness as a reference tool…any thoughts?

    Chris Oben

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