I’m sure when you were a kid, someone somewhere along the way told you to sit up straight. No doubt it was irritating at the time, but if you’re one of the 130 million Americans who spend most of their jobs sitting in an office chair, you’re probably starting to realize why posture matters so much.
We’re not going to beat a dead horse about posture (although if you want more tips on how to improve your posture, grab our free e-book on posture. You’re probably already sitting up straighter now because you’re thinking about it. But is it a habit to sit up straight? Do you always sit straight, even if you’re not thinking about it? It’s all about your habits. And bad habits can be hard to kick.
What is form? And why is it so important?
Here at Actify, we say “form first” all the time. And it means more than just good posture. Form first means that you’re moving your body in such a way that your muscles are all doing their own jobs – and none of them need to call for backup from an unrelated muscle group.
A common example: the muscles in your lower back trying to be biceps.
Think about the last time you were doing bicep curls. By the tenth rep, your muscles are probably getting pretty tired, so the rest of your body might try to help out. Specifically, it might start to recruit some of your lower back muscles for those last few inches of lift. Your body means well – and it doesn’t know any better – it just wants to get the job done. And it might not do any harm the first few times. But over time, damage will start to show.
As you do this improper bicep curl over and over again, your back muscles begin to learn that they’re part of the “bicep curl team.” For all they know, they’re helping! But in the future, when you try to lift a heavier weight, your back muscles will realize, suddenly and without warning, they’re not made for bicep curls. And now your back is injured, and you don’t know why since you don’t think you did any training on your back.
How do you train proper form?
To do an exercise correctly, it’s not enough to do what feels right. You need someone who is knowledgeable about the body to give you feedback on how the movement looks. We recommend seeing a trained physical therapist or functional movement specialist. These trained professionals can watch you perform certain tests and alert you to any imbalances or improper form that may lead to imbalances before you get injured!
Training your form makes your movements smoother, stronger, and more efficient. It prevents your body from recruiting the wrong muscles for the job and ensures you don’t get injured and can continue doing what you love. We would be happy to have a conversation about how one of our clinicians can help you prevent injuries, before they start! Just fill out this short form and we’ll get you on our list for a free phone consultation about how we can help you.