Have you tried a plank yet? Chances are if you are into health and fitness either you already know this move or will sooner or later Google it and try it. If you have tried a plank, you already know where I’m going with this—without proper form, why do the plank at all, right? Proper form on exercises like planks and crunches make all the difference whether you slim down or not—as improper crunches can actually exaggerate a pouchy belly, fail to tighten any of the ab muscles, and cause muscle strains that tear tendons in the back or neck, which will keep you out of the gym for weeks.
Crucial form is necessary for cardio, weight lifting, and all forms of toning exercises where your goal is to slim down, lose weight, and build lean muscle. Let’s talk about why.
The Benefits of Proper Form for Exercise To Target Specific Muscles for Bigger Payoffs
Exercises, for example, the planks and crunches we were discussing earlier, are created to target specific muscle groups—even muscle fibers, on the body. Proper form ensures you target these muscles in the most effective way possible to get results. Just think of doing oblique planks. Obviously, how are you going to whittle your waist at all, if you’re not targeting the oblique muscles? Or if the back is not held straight? You won’t target those muscles at all, in fact, without proper form.
Another good illustration is a simple strength training exercise – the single arm overhead press. Now, if you do not maintain proper form in this exercise, if you do not squeeze the glutes and brace your core muscles, yes, you might build a little bicep and tricep muscle but with proper form, you would have toned and strengthened all kinds of muscles including the core, glutes, back, obliques—see?
To Get Results Even Faster
We all want a maximum reward for our hard work, right? Learning to do an exercise the wrong way can take months to unlearn. It is just like any hard habit to break. You’ll have to really fight to get your form proper. Many individuals rush so much into an exercise in their desperation to lose weight or get fit, in the end, it takes them years to get results they could have gotten in mere months if they would have started off on the right foot, not tried to relearn stepping first with that foot—right?
Because Injuries Make You Fat, Too!
Everyone, even Victoria’s Secret models, are learning the value of adding some high weight deadlifts to their routine. You also know that without the proper form on a move like this, you can seriously injure yourself, which makes you bed bound, fat bound, and out of work, too. None of us want that, right? Again, proper form comes to the rescue –making you a lean mean fighting machine that can be more productive in the long run, like all us hard-charging fitness enthusiasts need to be!
Proper Form Wastes Energy Better Spent On More Exercise
If you’re using proper form, you’re in the right position to lift, walk, and most of all, maintain balance and stability during exercise. Think of using a stability ball while you’re doing crunches. How are you going to work the obliques or the abs if you are not using the proper form? Just like doing sit-ups with your toes tucked under something, you’ll recruit the wrong muscles—like your already-strong glutes instead of all the muscles you want to tone. If you’re not in proper form, your body will strive to maintain balance on that ball. It’s what the body does. Meaning, you’re spending all your energy on trying to over-correct your form, that you could be spending burning fat, losing weight, and getting hard. The body always tries to maintain stability.
For Maximum Breathing, And Maximum Energy
It’s much easier to breathe from your diaphragm if you’re not hunched over. Breathing from the diaphragm ensures you are filling your lungs with air and breathing properly during exercise which is crucial for calorie burning and the health of your body as well. Without proper breathing during cardio or resistance training, you’ll never last long enough to benefit from exercise. You cannot work out effectively if your body is struggling for breath.
If you need more energy to focus on form, breathing, and working the proper muscles, are you nourishing the body before or after exercise? I’ve found that even people who used to swear by fueling afterward, once they try, say, a green drink powder or organic superfood powder style shake before their workout, can go longer and harder as well as focus while working out, without the complaints of digestive issues you might have with dairy drinks.
Author Bio: Gerry Morton holds an MS in Nutrition and is an experienced athlete who has competed in numerous marathons and Ironman triathlons. He is the lead educator for Greens Plus, an industry leader in superfood products since 1989. Read the Greens Plus blog at http://blog.greensplus.com. Gerry is an expert on the subjects of nutrition, peak performance, motivation, entrepreneurship, and empowerment.