I see far too many internet gurus on Instagram and even personal trainers on YouTube performing weight training exercises with poor form. Don’t follow their lead!! Even if they do have amazing bodies!
Form is the most important thing when lifting weights. If your form sucks you are setting yourself up for injury!
Good form is crucial when lifting weights. If you are a newbie to weight lifting I highly recommend you learn proper form first and do things right from the get-go so you don’t form bad habits. Continual habits of bad form will lead to injuries. Also, good form allows for the muscles to work properly to achieve your goals. Why spend time working hard in the gym if you aren’t getting results?
Good form and how much weight you lift are strongly correlated. Besides what I describe in the video above, which I will deem “the mirror complex”, oftentimes people execute poor form because the weight they are lifting is too heavy. Or they continue past the number of repetitions they can perform with good form. Some experienced bodybuilders will do this and call those reps “cheats” as a way to push their muscles even further for building. That’s not exactly what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about using poor form to perform any exercise and all the repetitions because you are trying to be a badass or because of lack of knowledge. The latter can be easily fixed with getting some assistance. The first, well…
The deadlift and the squat are probably the two exercises performed with the worst form. That’s why you’ll find a TON of videos on YouTube addressing how to do it correctly. One thing I see with squatting is people don’t hit parallel with their legs (or below). If you can’t hit parallel you need to drop the weight down to a comfortable amount that allows you to hit parallel with good form. And work on your hip mobility. If you need to widen your feet a bit and point your toes slightly out that’s totally acceptable. Practice squatting around the house with your butt to the ground like this lady.
And check out this great article on how to fix pain in your squat where that image comes from!
I especially see poor form when someone is trying to hit a PR (“personal record”). It’s human nature to want to improve each week and break our lifting records but if you can’t perform the lift with good form then do less weight! You are not a badass for hitting a PR with poor form, but you may be someone with a torn rotator cuff or lower back injury that puts you out of the gym for a few months.
If you are unsure of how to perform an exercise with correct form don’t be afraid to ask a personal trainer at the gym to show you. Or ask someone that obviously knows what they are doing. Most people are friendly enough they don’t mind helping a newbie out.
Lift SAFE first, lift HEAVY second.