By Ryan Lawson, exercise specialist
When starting an exercise routine, tailoring your plan to your specific needs and goals is always essential. Along those lines, when developing a workout routine, it’s important to make sure you’re performing proper techniques. Even if you’ve been working out for a while, completing an evaluation to make sure your exercise technique is sound can help ensure you start seeing the results you want.
It may seem vain to stare in the mirror as you work out, but proper form during exercise—especially during strength training—should be a major focus. By using correct form, you can generate the proper force, use your muscles efficiently and avoid any undo wear and tear. Practicing exercises incorrectly can lead to misalignment of the joints and unnecessary stress on muscles and tendons, which can lead to strains or tears. Always remember, you gain significantly more benefits by lifting lighter weights properly instead of a heavier weight with improper form.
Another chief component for strength training, whether you’re using machines or free weights, is to make sure you maintain proper breathing technique. Proper breathing technique involves exhaling during the “working” part of the exercise and inhaling during the “return to start position” of each repetition. Holding your breath when working out can create pressure in your chest cavity. Over time, this pressure can lead to an increase in the possibility of heart issues, aneurysms and an increase in blood pressure. By taking time to focus on your breathing during each repetition, you can easily avoid any undue pressure in your chest cavity—plus, concentrating on your breathing helps you make sure you exercise at the correct pace.
Taking the time to complete each exercise correctly is a crucial component of an efficient and effective exercise routine. Speeding through your routine without any thought to form or function can lead to an increase in injury and other bad habits that can cause issues down the road. Don’t be afraid to consult a fitness professional to make sure you are exercising properly. And remember, the mirror in the gym is for more than just gym selfies.