How to help you establish good form during workouts.
Whether you're new to strength training or are just looking for some tips on good form you're in the right place!! Good form means less prone to get injury and joint soreness, along with better muscle contraction for muscle tone and growth!
Using Good Form
Let's start with some basic things for good form.
- Warm up. You want to warm up because cold muscles are more likely to get injured than warm muscles. You can do things such as stretching, really light weight for the muscles you're going to work out, and/or walk for a 5-10 minutes.
- Put your mind into the workout. Have you heard of mind-muscle connection? This is what I'm talking about! FOCUS on the muscle you're working out. It not only helps actually hit that muscle, but it helps you not use muscles you may not be expecting you use which could lead to muscle imbalances.
- Make your muscles do the work. Back to that concept of leaving the ego at the door. Don't let your ego get you to lifting heavier than you really can lift. Be patient and lighten the weight. Your joints will thank you later!
- Breathe. Make sure you breathe. You might be tempted to hold your breath when you are exerting effort. This never helps even though we think it does. Lol. Exhale during the hardest part of the exercise. If you have questions about the form, you may consider hiring a personal trainer for a few sessions.
- Learn to pay attention to your body. Never work through intense pain and learn to differentiate between pain and muscle fatigue or joint soreness. Muscle fatigue is a feeling of your muscles being tired while pain is more of an 'off' or ouch feeling.
- Work for all muscle groups. Make sure your weekly strength training routine works all of your major muscles—abs, legs, chest, back, shoulders and arms.
- Use free resources to view proper form. Things such as YouTube are perfect for this. I like AthleanX the most. He's very knowledgeable and really explains different exercises.
As you strength train, you will naturally get stronger and need to increase the weight you lift. Soon you will be amazed at how regular strength training can improve your cardio conditioning and change how your body composition.
Some things I use to help with my workouts are the following:
Muscle Fatigue during workout - Intra workout
Muscle soreness/growth - Post workout
*Disclaimer: Consult your doctor before taking any supplements.