Improper Exercise Form and Technique

What You Don’t Know About Exercise Can Hurt You

Improper Exercise Form and Technique

Improper Exercise Form and Technique Overview

When it comes to exercise, the idea of something is better than nothing often holds true, but be warned that what you don’t know about exercising can in fact hurt you.  Made up exercises, reckless form, and improper breathing can lead to undesirable results, so if you’re unsure about how to work a certain muscle, how to perform an exercise, or how to properly breathe during an exercise, it is in your best interest to find a fitness professional or a knowledgeable fitness enthusiast to help you out.

Made up Exercises

Although doing something is better than nothing, creating your own exercises without the proper knowledge of human kinetics can be extremely risky.  Each joint has a set distance and direction it can move which is commonly referred to as range of motion.  Adding weight or resistance to a joint can force it outside its normal range of motion causing injury which is why it is critical that the exercise you’re performing isn’t putting your joint in a compromised position.  The YouTube video below is an example of a joint with added resistance in an unstable position, which in this case leads to a shoulder injury.

Reckless Form

When it comes to exercise, form is extremely important for two reasons.  First, having good form assures that the muscles you’re working receive full stress from the exercise you’re performing and two, that your joints are in proper position during the exercise ensuring they’re in a strong and stable position to help prevent injury.  While exercising with added resistance, if you’re using bad form techniques like swinging, jolting, or bouncing with the weight, then you’re putting yourself at risk for a potentially damaging amount of stress to your joints and connective tissues.  The YouTube video below is an example of a guy using a bad form technique commonly referred to as the suicide grip during bench press.  After watching the video, it’s obvious why it’s called the suicide grip.

Improper Breathing

Oxygen plays a key role in energy production; therefore, when you exercise you want to adequately supply the body with oxygen by breathing properly.  Not only can holding your breathe during exercise cause a spike in blood pressure, but it can also cause you to faint because it increases the internal pressure in the chest and abdomen.  In the YouTube video below, the guy holds his breathe while exerting maximum effort in order to dead-lift a heavy weight.  However, this causes him to faint almost immediately after completing the lift.

Improper Exercise Form and Technique: Final Thoughts

Although doing some sort of exercise is better than nothing, you should be sure you’re not risking your safety to do so.  On a final note, just remember if you don’t know how to work a particular muscle, how to do an exercise, or how to breathe properly when exercising, it can never hurt to ask a fitness professional, or someone knowledgeable in the fitness field.

How Improper Exercise Form and Technique Can Lead to Injury:  References

1^ “ Fitness: The Complete Guide;” International Sports Sciences Association; 2007

See Also:

Author Profile: Julian Brown, BS, ACE-CPT, NASM-FNS      Julian is the co-owner of The Yard Fitness, an established fitness writer, a professional natural bodybuilder, a fitness & sport nutrition specialist, and a certified personal trainer. He began strength training at the young age of fourteen to improve his sports performance and hasn’t looked back since. Julian is a graduate of Grambling State University, ACE & NASM certified, and he has over a decade of personal experience in strength training.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.
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