Fitness briefs

Fitness briefs
Oklahoman Published: June 24, 2014
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IN BRIEF

Four Tips for Good Form

Let’s face it: our schedules are busier than ever, and free time is the most valuable commodity we have. Sloppy strength training — including poor form, incomplete repetitions and ill-conceived resistance weight — is simply a waste of time. Here are four simple tips to create an efficient strength routine that rations your minutes and gives you the best form possible.

Make friends with the mirror: During strength training, the mirror is your best friend. Check in with your reflection every few minutes to correct your form. Are you slumping or getting sloppy? Good form is crucial to building muscle, not to mention staying injury-free. Use these three points: Stand tall with your chest up and arms naturally at your sides, don’t hunch your shoulders or hold tension in the neck, and hold your abs tight to protect your lower back.

Remember to breathe: If you’ve ever taken a yoga or pilates class, then you know how important breathing is during movement. The same holds true when strength training. You’ll never reach your full potential if you exercise while holding your breath. Inhale during the easiest part of the exercise and exhale during the hardest part. For example, if you’re doing a weighted squat, inhale on the downward movement and exhale as you push from the ground and return to a standing position

Use muscle, not momentum: Make your muscles do the work instead of letting momentum swing your weight up and down. If you are losing control of the dumbbell, slow down and regain a controlled pace or think about lowering the amount of weight. You’ll activate more muscle fibers if you lift and lower weights properly through the full range of motion.