I hope all of you wonderful mothers had a fantastic Mother’s Day and got all the love you deserve! Mine was great. I feel extremely blessed to live so close to family, after all it is the most important thing!
I know some people may yawn whenever they hear people talking about correct form and technique when exercising. It is the boring part of fitness, but it is one of the most important aspects when it comes to injury prevention and getting the most out of your workout. Using incorrect form over and over can put a negative strain on your joints and muscles causing damage to them.
Here are a few key components to remember about form when strength training:
· Stand up straight and do not arch your back.
· Keep your head facing forward and Look straight ahead. This will allow for a neutral spine.
· Engage (contract) your core and keep it tight. This will allow for stability and control to your movement.
· Do not rock your body or use momentum to lift the weight. This makes the exercises less effective and can cause injury.
· Use full range of motion to increase flexibility, but do not exceed because this can cause injury to the joint.
· Always do a warm- up. Working cold muscles can cause tears and strains. By warming up you will increase circulation and range of motion in your muscles. It is good to do 5 minutes of light cardio and a few minutes of light strength movements that you will be doing in your workout. (e.g. If you are working your lower body you could do some squats and lunges.)
· Remember to breathe- Exhale through your mouth when you are lifting the weight and inhale out of your nose as you lower it.
Here are a few key exercises that should be in your workouts and an explanation of correct form for each.
Muscles worked– glutes, hips, quads, hamstrings and core.
Feet should be hip width apart with toes facing forward or angled slightly outward. Make sure shoulders are rolled back and down away from ears. While inhaling, slowly bend knees toward floor and make sure to keep your chest and shoulders upright and back straight. Exhale and slowly bring body to starting position.
Muscles worked– Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, back and abs.
Start in plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulders. Make sure body is in a straight line and your belly is not sagging and your butt is not lifted. Slowly lower your body to the floor and stop when your elbows are 90 degrees. Exhale and bring body back up to starting position. Make sure your core is braced the whole time.
Muscles worked– upper arms.
Grasp the dumbbell directly above the head in the starting position. Bend elbows to lower weight. Extend arms back up lifting dumbbell back to starting position. Make sure to keep core engaged the whole time.
Muscles worked– Core, arms, back and legs.
Lie face down with elbows resting on floor below chest. Push your body off the floor in a push up position resting on forearms. Keep body tight and in a straight line. Make sure booty is not in the air or drooping. Keep core tight and engaged.
Muscles worked– most muscles in the leg.
Stand in split stance. Bend knees and lower body keeping front and back knee at 90 degree angles. Make sure to keep weight in the heels.
I hope you will try to remember how important having correct form is to your success, and if you are uncertain you are using correct form or not, it is a good idea to invest in a few sessions with a personal trainer. They can walk you through all your moves and teach you the ground work you will use for most exercises. Don’t hesitate to ask an employee if you are at the gym.
Here is a great core workout that is all about planking and lunging!
plank walk out with knee tuck
Curtsy lunge with knee tuck
Side lunge with dumbbell twist
Side to side plank dips