knowing when to slow down your exercise movements


Poor form.

Why is poor form such an issue if you aren’t lifting heavy weights?  I mean, Kemme Fitness workouts tend to use equipment weighing less than 30 pounds, or even bodyweight only, right?

There are two reasons why poor form should be at the top of your priority list when you exercise.

#1 – getting all your benefits. When your form is not correct, you are not using your muscles the way they were intended. You will most likely be neglecting some very important muscles, and the neural-muscular connections won’t be accurate. Therefore, you are not gaining the benefit of working your body properly to make it the most effective and effecient machine for life’s activities.

#2 – strain. You might not blow out a shoulder if you are performing a Front Bridge in poor form as depicted in the image above, however, when your form goes out the window, you do tend to put too much stress in the wrong areas. This can still cause aches and pains and strains.  Not only is the woman in the pic above not working your core properly and missing out on the strength building that planks/bridges give her, but she runs the risk of putting too much strain on the wrong parts of her body (you can still tweek your back muscles with bodyweight exercises).

The key here is knowing when to slow down and when to keep your intensity levels up. After all, we still want all the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training, which means we need to move fast and get that heartrate up. Below are a few tips to keep in mind.

TIP #1 – Know your form to begin with. Don’t do any squats, even Air Squats, until you know how to keep those knees back and to stick that butt out behind you.

TIP #2 – Be extra careful when using weight. Whenever you add weight, even a 15 pound Kettlebell, and begin to hold that weight away from your center of gravity, you require extra muscle strength to maintain good posture/form.

TIP #3 – As you get tired, pay more attention to your form. If those Air Squats are getting too hard and your knees are creeping forward, then it is time to make a decision. Or, if that Front Plank looks like the image above, then it is time to make a decision (see tip #4)

TIP #4 – Decision time. When your form is failing, you have a choice.  You can either slow way down and recover your form, or stop that exercise all together.  Continuing with poor form should not be an option. Do not settle for your butt being in the air when you should have total heel-to-head alignment. If you are using weight, then check your ego and lower the weight. These small decisions are crucial to a healthy Functional Fitness program – or any exercise program for that matter.

If you stay consistent every time and make good decisions as far as not allowing any poor form exercises, you will gain in the long run. You can avoid having to scale back for 4 days or 4 weeks because you tweeked a muscle or tendon.  Plus you won’t miss out on the actual true benefits of a good form exercise.

Simply put – don’t just keep going when you are too tired to keep form.

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