I have been watching some of our guests in the gym of late and often detect and correct a very common practice involving the use of free weights, specifically dumbbells where they swing their arms freely with fast, loose movements. So how important is proper form when using free weights?
Back in the early 1980’s (yes, I know I am dating myself) an article entitled “Strict Style is Still King” appeared in one of the more popular fitness magazines. Truer words have still never been spoken. While you should be using strict style in all your exercises, it’s absolutely crucial with free weights. Machines are a bit more forgiving and will allow a small degree of looseness; free weights however, demand that you pay total attention to technique.
When performing an exercise, you change direction at two points: the top and the bottom. If you train with fast, loose style, you’ll be using your joints as springs when you change direction. Sudden, explosive movements are likely to lead to injury.
Perform all of your exercises with solid technique not only for safety but for effectiveness, keeping bouncing or jerking movements to a minimum. Always lift and lower weight at the same rate and keep it slow and controlled. ENGAGE YOUR CORE (use your breath as your trigger, lift the pelvic floor, contract your abdominals, shoulders back and down) to promote strong posture and protect you lower back.
Happy lifting, over and out….Cathy