Training form basics

The importance of training form. Form and speed of movement goes hand in hand.

Training Form

Bad form leads to the wrong muscles being stimulated and this makes for less effective workouts and poor results.

Form refers to the accuracy or isolation that your posture gives you when training a specific muscle or muscle group. Better form means better isolation and therefore stimulation of the muscle.

One of the main things that affect form is concentration. As you get to the end of the set, you become tired and your concentration reduces. As a result your form suffers just when you need it most – on those last few reps that really count. Good form can radically improve your results when training.

Speed

The speed you lift and lower weights with and radically affect how well you stimulate the muscle group.

How fast should you perform the motion? Here we have two ways of looking at it, one is technical and the other practical.

Technical movement limitation revolves around gauging momentum. From this point of view, no momentum means the perfect speed or put another way, your speed is limited by momentum generation. Take bi-ceps curls for example; if you did them standing on a scale, the weight on the scale should never move throughout the motion, this means no momentum is generated.

On a practical level this is hard to do so one can use a guideline of lifting in 4 seconds and lowering in 6 seconds. For most people this will eliminated throwing the weight up and dropping it down, both factors that reduce results and make you injury prone. Warning: this is much harder then it sounds! Once you have mastered the time guideline you can then experiment with different rates of speed depending on where you are in the movement. For example, at the beginning of the curl you may want to move slower, but towards the top of the movement you may want to increase speed. Same with the lowering component,   start lowering slowly and then you can increase the pace, slowing towards the end of the motion and so.

Make it a habit

By focusing on form and speed as much as possible, you eventually stop thinking about it and it becomes habit. You will automatically be in the right position and apply the right pace to your motion after a while, this will take your training to a new level of efficiency – and results!