General Question

LDRSHIP's avatar

How much consideration and effort do you put into form or technique on exercise(s)?

Asked by LDRSHIP (1191 points ) March 13th, 2014

On top of what is said, another question linking it to the title question I have is on a scale of 1 to 10 how important is it to you (form/technique)?

Separate question if you are doing higher repetitions do you believe it is OK (if ever? Your opinion.) To comprise the form or technique?

If so to what degree? (Please explain this question in detail as so I can understand how and to what degree. Examples and the exercises.)

I have couple more questions, but they are related yet linger away from the main topic.

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18 Answers

dxs's avatar

Technique is extremely important to me. I’d rather not complete a rep than give up technique. If I ditch my technique, I’m compromising my safety. Bad form can lead to injuries.

LDRSHIP's avatar

Add input before I take off to work. I feel like this is difficult in my opinion when performing “burn outs” or high repetitions. Particular to muscle failure.

How do you draw that line where you want that extra push to really get a work out in for a lack of better words.

Or is it even necessary. I am much better about listening to my body and not being stupid about injuring myself. Majority of the time anyways. There are those moments where I want to push myself, but then I think if I am not doing it RIGHT does it make sense to do it all? That extra repetition or whatever.

Cruiser's avatar

Form and proper execution of the exercise is paramount to getting the most from each repetition and the most benefit from that exercise and helps you to avoid injury to muscles as you work out. There are many muscles involved that you should be aware of while doing the exercise, there is also your posture, rate of exercise, and your core muscles to be aware of.

I love to do a set of all my exercises where I do them as slow as I possibly can and that not only challenges the muscles like no other way can but you can feel all the muscles as they engaged and disengage during the exercise.

gailcalled's avatar

Bad form and sloppy technique will lead to compensatory aches, pains and possbile injuries. Err on the side of common sense.

zenvelo's avatar

Sacrificing form so you can do “burn outs” or higher reps is dangerous, because you put yourself at greater risk of injury. If you can’t do more or faster in good form, you are not in as good a shape as you believe.

It’s all part of a whole. Focus on form at lower exertion, and then when going for higher exertion, your muscle memory will take over and keep technique in form. It becomes second nature, so that your body tells you if you are getting sloppy.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Form is extremely important. I’d say a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. First of all, it helps prevent injury. Secondly, you get more out of the workout if you are using correct form.

Let’s say you’re doing bicep curls with a heavy weight and you find yourself using your torso to swing the weights up. You need to use a lighter weight. During a bicep curl, your elbows should stay completely stationary pinned to your ribs. They shouldn’t migrate forward during the exercise. The point of the exercise is to work your biceps – which you’re not really doing if you’re swinging it up.

You either do low reps with heavy weights or high reps with lighter weights (which I think is a waste of time for a healthy, uninjured person and is typically only done by misguided women that “don’t want to get muscular,” but whatever).

Here’s a cardio example: You’re doing jumping jacks – seems simple enough. However, doing them correctly with maximize your caloric burn. Just flailing your arms and legs out won’t burn nearly as many calories as keeping your movements controlled, getting a full range of motion, and keeping all of your muscles (arms, core, and legs) engaged at all times. Your body should be working against itself in order to burn plenty of calories. Additionally, flailing your arms around is a good way to injure your shoulder, especially if your muscles are not properly warmed up yet.

Just going through the motions or trying to reach some number of reps by sacrificing form isn’t smart. If your form is good and you’re using the appropriate weights, you’ll get faster and better results. Period.

JLeslie's avatar

I Zumba and my form is very good, except that I cannot use my left arm in many moves, so sometimes that makes things lopsided. It’s basically only when I need to put my arm over my head; it hurts because of an accident I had. Some instructors add in a lot of crunches and squats, and I don’t do them much, I switch up and stretch or do something else while they do it. Some of them lean forward a lot, I don’t do that, I almost always keep a straight back, upright, posture.

Good form has not only to do with looking good, but also exercising safely. Some instructors do things that I believe risk injury, I don’t do those things.

I also swim (although I haven’t in about three months) and my form is pretty good. Good form while swimming helps you swim faster, stay afloat, etc.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie Some instructors add in a lot of crunches and squats, and I don’t do them much…

May I ask why that is?

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 My muscles easily tire and if I do too many I won’t feel steady to drive home. If I do too much of them in the beginning or middle of the hour long class I won’t be able to complete the dance possibly. I am much better now than say two years ago. Years ago I would be shaking and in pain from too much exercise, I went through a period where I couldn’t finish a Zumba class. Anyway, I don’t like to push it! Even though I have not been shaky in a very long time. My primary goal is the cardio part of Zumba for my heart. Often during squats I do some and then I switch to open out, basically ballet second position, so it works slightly different muscles. I use ballet out feet a lot when most instructors use feet forward, because I feel the balance is easier, it uses muscles that aren’t being used much and zumba otherwise, and it feels more natural to me with my ballet background. It works inner and outer thigh, and stomach muscles as well.

I have an instructor who is really into the squats and she does one where she has her feet together and squats and then turns her feet out, eals together (like ballet first position) and still squats forward, bending at the waist forward. I always thought it was bad to do that. Feet out is back straight up as far as I know.

I want to have fun when I exercise and do the steps I enjoy.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie Gotcha.

and then I switch to open out, basically ballet second position, so it works slightly different muscles

I believe those are sumo squats. Or “plie” squats.

I love squats. Ski squats, basic squats, sumo squats, static squats, single-leg squats, double-dip squats…you name it. But squat jumps – screw that.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Most Zumba instructors don’t do them, or do very few of them. I guess the forward squat is supposed to build the tushy, and that is in now I guess.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie For sure. It’s certainly one of my goals. Lower body workouts are my favorite, especially if they leave me with shaky legs and a killer burn the next day.

gailcalled's avatar

The sumo squat is a major part of my knee rehab. that I continue to do, after I have stopped many of the others. I do have to hold on to a window sill still, for fear of slipping. Shaky legs is not my goal, however. Slow and steady, like the tortoise.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled That’s interesting to know. I had no idea it would be a knee rehab exercise. I’ve asked my gym, actually several gyms, to put in a ballet barre, or a portable one. None of them have done it.

In Zumba a lot of the instructors will lunge to the side and do a squat and then lunge to the other side and squat, back and forth. I never do that. I don’t see the point of putting that stress on the knee. I just squat straight down, whichever type of squat it is I choose to do. The do turns that should not be done in sneakers either, which in my opinion can pull on the knee joint. Sometimes they ask if I have knee trouble, because they see me modify, and I always say that I don’t have trouble and I don’t want any.

gailcalled's avatar

@JLeslie: Use a window sill or the back of a sturdy chair in place of a barre.

I also do a modified and controlled lunge exercise with each leg.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled I can do the plié with no problem without support, but I would like it to be able to lift my leg for a stretch and do other ballet moves that are harder to do without a barre. Plus, I think other people would find it beneficial if they do need something to hold onto. At the gym the chairs there would not be very good since the backs of the chairs are lower than ideal. I certainly could not use it to lift and stretch my legs. When I do a lunge I usually have my front foot out in ballet position also, but if I had a barre I could do it with all knees forward. I’m not sure the lung actually benefits me greatly though. Why do you do the lunges?

gailcalled's avatar

Quad and core strengthening.

JLeslie's avatar

I think I get enough of that with Zumba. Meaning as much as doing a few sets of lunges at home. I probably should do more core. I was thinking of taking a belly dance class, because Zumba where I live now doesn’t incorporate it like my old gym. I also used to do deep water water aerobics, which is great for core, and I can’t find a class near me. I’m thinking of ice skating again, which would add some core and leg strength.

Thanks for the information.

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