This has easily got to be one of our favourite topics. Great form and technique is one of the biggest, if not the biggest ways to make considerable gainz safely in your training program and subsequent results.
When we talk about form and technique, you need to ask yourself how do you actually perform your exercises? The answer should not only include form and technique but speed of your exercises and range of movement.
Lets firstly understand the difference between form and technique.
Technique is the way you perform an exercise and how effectively you are targeting specific muscle groups. This could include adjustments to grip positioning and / or feet placement in order to target different muscle groups.
Form or lack of, can result in slow progress due to missing out on those key muscle groups or more importantly, picking up an injury. An example of good form would be keeping your back flat during squats or slightly bending your knees during roman deadlifts.
When we look at form in greater detail you begin to understand that it is all about posture. Posture is the position and movements of your body whilst carrying out an exercise. This should not exclude your preparation before you start the exercise such as picking up weights, or at the end such as releasing weights off your back after squats.
It can be quite easy to fall into bad habits and adopt bad form, especially as it can make some exercises easier and you become complacent. However, this will undoubtably increase your risk of injury, slow down your progress towards your goals minimising your potential muscle gain.
Become conscious of your form and technique, always checking your positioning and that you are completing your exercises correctly. The more you practice, the more it will become second nature. Eventually, you will begin to notice that as you fatigue or exercises become more difficult, you will rely on your good form and technique to get you thought it safely and effectively.
This also goes for range of movement, as it can be tempting to reduce this towards the end of your sets and technically cheat. Partial lifts and / or incomplete ranges of movements will have the same results as bad form and technique and will hamper your progress.
That being said, exercising with a wide range of motion needs to be done with some air of caution as it can cause muscle strain, which on the one hand is good and what we want in order to build muscle and improve strength, but it can also lead to injury. So be sure to use good form and technique to limit the possibilities of this happening.
Speed of your exercises should also be considered. You ought to take your time to complete your lifts, ensuring you are using good form and technique throughout. However, do not labour your workout so much so that it’s not worth it in the long run.
We are all busy people and the temptation to rush though your exercises can be all too alluring, after all it can make ‘completion’ easier. However, much like performing your exercises too slowly, the trade off for completing exercises too quickly may not be worth it as you limit the time you are putting your muscles under tension. Additionally, it is much easier for your technique to fall off during fast movements increasing your chances of injury.
So what are we saying here, great form and good technique will produce results if coupled with a strong work ethic. It is not expected for you to automatically know what great form and good technique is, so if in doubt speak to a Personal Trainer of Gym instructor for some direction.