When exercising, form should be top of mind. It can either help or hinder your performance. What does proper form look like in the real world? We asked MYX’s Programming Specialist Melanie Melillo to weigh in on this important topic.
Melillo says the case for proper form is rooted in practicality. “The primary reason for proper form in exercise is injury prevention.” “Every part of your body is linked together in a big kinetic chain, so if one part is out of alignment, the whole chain could be at risk.”
Beyond prevention, performance also enters the equation. When your body is in alignment, it can focus on important things such as breathing and energy conservation. “You don't trap your breath or waste energy on unnecessary movements. You can use both to push harder when you reach your limits,” she says. The takeaway? By ensuring that you are training properly, you can enjoy better results.
Speaking of results, just because you might be guilty of bad form doesn’t mean you can’t overcome this tendency. According to Melillo, it’s quite the contrary. “You can learn about your body from improper form and use form corrections to get stronger, more stable, and more efficient in your movement.”
Melillo offers specific guidance on how to spot improper form and how to correct it.
Do not let the knees collapse in or out at the bottom of the squat. Knees and feet should be parallel in proper squat form.
Your front knee should never extend over your front toes. Also, avoid shifting weight into the front foot. Your weight should remain evenly distributed between the front and back feet.
Some people place their hands wider than their shoulders when the correct form is to have the hands in alignment with the shoulders. Also, the butt/hips should not be higher than the shoulders.
Correct cyclist posture calls for mastering and maintaining core strength. When the focus is on training the abs, some people incorrectly engage other body parts at the same time, which ends up being counterproductive. For example, when performing a crunch, it can be tempting to pull on the neck with the hands. Instead, elbows should always be wide, and you should push your head back into your hands as you lift.