Everybody talks about the importance of diet and regular exercise, but what about making workouts as safe as possible? The surest way you can take yourself out of commission is by repeatedly performing a workout the wrong way.
And since it’s National Safety Month, we thought we’d create this comprehensive guide on proper workout form – because when you’re working hard at getting fit,you need to know how to protect yourself and lower your risk of injury.
So, without further ado, here’s how to practice proper workout form for different exercises:
Don’t know how to land after a tuck jump? Avoid coming down on the balls of your feet. Try landing as softly as possible, while distributing your body weight evenly over the entire foot. Always ensure your knees are tracking over your foot and not caving in or bowing out.
Whether you’re on a machine or using weights, pinch your shoulders as if your shoulder blades were gliding over your back.
Don’t scrunch your shoulders! Pull your shoulder blades back to prevent your shoulders from folding forward and your back from rounding.
Don’t let your legs flail around or your back arch! You should stabilize your body by always driving your feet into the ground. You should also keep your elbows from flaring out when you bench, and keep your elbows close to your rib cage.
Never ever let your knees cave in!
If you’re squatting with a weight, make sure you’re going low enough for your thighs to be parallel to the ground or lower. If you don’t squat deeply, your knees will take the brunt of the force instead of your hips.
Protect Your Back
Don’t want to throw out your back? The number one thing you can do is engage your core when performing workouts like push ups, rows and more.
Never use momentum to complete a crunch – always use your core muscles in short, concentrated movements.
Always, always, always drink water before, during, and after a workout.
Don’t hold your breath while lifting a load. Exhale while you push or lift a weight, and inhale as you slowly release the load.
Always keep a slight bend in your elbows and knees, and never lock your joints!
Don’t hunch over when you’re on a bike, stair climber, or treadmill – that’s just a recipe for back pain. You can practice proper posture by not resting your hand on the railing, engaging your core, and looking straight ahead. If you have to hold the railing, don’t bend your elbows out.
The good news is, practicing proper form is also a great way to make your workouts as effective as possible. If you want, you could also choose a low-impact exercise like isometrics, which is completely static, so it’s easy on the joints.
Isometrics is incredibly intuitive, but if you’d like some extra guidance for certain moves, our Activ5 Training App (Android or iOS) is now available for Apple Watch, so you can get helpful biometric data any time, anywhere!
But, if you want to see our device in action, try the Activ5 at an Apple retail store near you in the U.S. and Canada!