New year! New goals! If you’re diving into your resolutions headfirst, I am cheering for you! There is no time like the present to go ahead and get started.
My biggest piece of advice for those of you who are just beginners: take your time (but not too much time). There is a fine line between pushing yourself to get uncomfortable and overdoing it. I suggest doing two or three workouts at 30-45 minutes the first couple of weeks. Add five minutes each session until you reach 50-60 minutes total. Every couple of weeks, add another session until you reach five workouts a week.
Even more important than frequency is form. Good form actually looks a little different on everyone, because all of our bodies are shaped differently. However, when you have proper form, your whole body works together in harmony. Good form will decrease your chances of getting hurt, and it will increase your strength and the energy of the movement.
While good form is all about maximizing your results while keeping you safe, there are also a ton of other benefits involved!
1. Better Focus
Ever heard the phrase “Get your head in the game?” Great workout technique is your ticket to the golden city.
When you’re targeting the intended muscle groups of the exercise at hand, your results and your focus will be much better. When you improve, your confidence grows, and you’re able to really get in the zone as you make your way into the gym.
2. Better Oxygen Intake
Have you ever held your breath while doing an exercise? No good! That’s bad form, and it’ll make the workout harder than it has to be.
When you execute good form and breathe throughout your exercise, it will support oxygen flow, allowing you to work harder and longer than you otherwise could.
3. Build Upon Your Progress
When you’re churning out the same great form each time, you’re building on your progress. While monotony isn’t all that exciting in life, it’s very exciting in the gym, because it’ll build upon your strength, your tone, and your overall performance.
Good Squat Form
If you have bad form when squatting you can compromise your joints, especially your knees. To have good squat form, don’t let your knees drop inward or track out over your toes. Instead, be conscious to spread your knees apart, sit back on your heels, and keep your back straight and upright.
Good Plank Form
We’ve all seen it, haven’t we? When you let your belly drop down to the floor or have your booty hiked up in the air, the plank becomes easier, but you’re not supporting your muscle groups, and you’re also not really benefiting from the exercise!
To have great form when doing a plank, tighten your core so that your stomach doesn’t drop down. You’re trying to achieve a straight line from your head to your ankles.
Pro tip: Do a plank in front of a mirror to make sure your stomach isn’t starting to sag to the floor.
Good Pushup Form
Since there are many (many) variations on a pushup, this one can be confusing. However, there are some form issues that are never acceptable in any variation of a pushup.
If you’re going hands to knees, don’t tuck your knees in too far and flare out your elbows. Keep your elbows tucked to about 45 degrees from your side, and lie out further to straighten your leg from your hip to the knee.
When you get stronger to go hands to toes, keep your core engaged, back straight (no sagging), and keep those elbows locked in place.
Tips to Check Your Form
Even if you’re visualizing the proper form, it’s easy for your body to deceive you.
A mirror is your best friend. Watch your form as you do the exercise and adjust as you go. Your body will eventually develop muscle memory, and you’ll become a natural over time.
Don’t rush it! Move slowly through each exercise, allowing yourself time to truly make adjustments.
You can even go a step further by recording yourself and watching it back afterwards. And if you still aren’t sure if you are using the correct form in your workouts, sign up for classes at our gym and we will watch you, correct your form, help you modify if needed and motivate you to keep going!