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Why Form is the Most Important Part of Exercise

A good exercise routine and getting steady muscle gains rely on several things: A good diet, a planned workout, and an understanding of your weightlifting limits, to name just a few.

But out of all the aspects to consider, your exercise form is the most important part of a workout.

Let’s examine why...

There are three big reasons to focus on form above the number of reps you complete or the types of exercise you do. The biggest of these is that proper form can help you avoid injury while exercising.

There’s a reason why proper form has been developed for every exercise in the book, and it’s not because gym fanatics or exercise teachers just need something to do. It’s because there’s a right and a wrong way to complete every exercise you can imagine. The right way will prevent you from hurting yourself.

Think about it. Real, strenuous exercise involves lifting or moving heavy weights and putting significant strain on your body. If you try to lift things incorrectly, you could end up causing serious harm to your muscles, nerves, and even your bones. There's a reason that you feel bad when you lift with your back instead of your knees! The same philosophy applies to exercise.


For those with an eye on long-term gains, form is also incredibly important. In addition to being critical for safety, proper form is essential for energy efficiency. If you complete an exercise the right way and with proper form, you’ll actually spend the minimum amount of energy necessary for that exercise and still make excellent gains.

Take a standard arm curl, for instance. If you swing your hips to help you complete the arm curl, you're using more energy to move your entire body than you are to complete the curl using just the arms in your bicep and forearm, as intended.

Completing exercises with the right form will always result in better gains. In the above example, your biceps and other arm muscles got all the focus from that exercise and will reap the benefits.

Lastly, proper form is important since it lets you accurately target different muscles or muscle groups. Say that you want to bulk up in the chest and upper arms. If you practice good form, you’ll be able to grow those muscles semi-intentionally.

While it’s true that you can’t actually determine where your body builds muscle or burns fat, it’s also true that your body won’t lump new muscle fiber in areas where it doesn’t think it’ll need them. Use your arms and proper form, and your arms will get bigger: it’s that simple.

Meanwhile, if you slack off when it comes to form and make mistakes, your body will produce lopsided results. You might bulk up in general but not get the cut, targeted physique you were imagining when you started out.

 

All in all, form is the single most important part of exercise, and any experienced physical trainer will say the same thing. Perfect your form, then worry about the number of reps you can complete and the number on the weights. Progress, and bigger muscles, will come with time and excellent form!

Thank you for reading,

Justin

Author