The Importance of Proper Form at the Gym
When you go to the gym, you are taking that extra step to help keep yourself fit and healthy. By working out with both weights and cardio machines, you can march your way to proper fitness to meet your health goals. However, if you do not use the proper form while working out, you can actually put your health in danger.
First, it is a good rule of thumb to avoid machines that you do not know how to work. Before you try the weight machine out for yourself, you should discuss the proper use with a trainer or a fellow exerciser. When you use machines the wrong way, you put yourself at risk of serious injury, and you can also damage the machine itself. Additionally, you should not try any new exercises unless you are completely sure of the correct form.
Next, one of the best things to keep in mind is alignment. If you do not keep your head, neck, and back in alignment even while doing something simple, you can eventually cause muscle weakness and tears that can sideline you for weeks. For example, if you arch your back to support yourself while doing bicep curls or triceps dips, you are actually doing more damage than good. It puts unnatural force on your muscles, leading to micro-tears and other problems that can result in pain.
Additionally, while you are on the treadmill or elliptical, you should still hold your shoulders back. This does not mean that you have to work out while standing straight up; you can still lean forward while running without slouching. Basically, it is important to hold your shoulders loose and level so that you do not tense them up unnaturally. This can also make your core work more to support you, which is an added benefit.