Do you work out regularly, but have little or no results? Does your back or neck feel stiff after training? If so, you’re probably doing something wrong. Using bad form is a common mistake among gym buffs. Done incorrectly, any exercise can lead to back pain, muscle soreness, stiff joints, and more serious injuries. Still not convinced? Here are nine ways poor form could be hampering your weight lifting progress:
Poor form is often the culprit behind sports injuries. When you use bad form, you’re forcing your body to do something that it wasn’t designed to do. For example, many gym goers don’t do squats because their knees hurt. The truth is that squats will rarely cause knee pain if done correctly. Your knees probably hurt because you’re pushing them out too far.
The better your form is, the faster you’ll see results. Using bad form not only increases your risk of risk of injury, but also stalls your progress. Your joints are painful and stiff, so you can’t reach peak performance. On top of that, you might not be hitting the chest, back, or core muscle well enough.
Train the Wrong Muscles
If you have poor form, you could end up training the wrong muscles. For instance, when you do pulls-ups and pull-downs, it’s essential to use your lats, not your biceps. Another common mistake is crunching too high when training the abs. Make sure you bring the ribs down to your belly button to hit the rectus abdominis, not the hip flexors.
Put Stress on Your Joints
When done improperly, most exercises will put stress on your joints and cause injuries. For example, deadlifting with a rounded back may lead to spine injuries, sciatica, herniated disks, and knee pain. Your back should remain in a neutral position to avoid these problems.
Not Getting Results
If you use bad form, you’re wasting your time at the gym. In order for an exercise to work, it must be done the right way. It’s important to watch your form, apply maximal tension, and focus on the targeted muscle groups in order to get results.
Not Achieving Peak Contraction
Poor lifting form can stop you from achieving peak contraction. For example, when you do cable triceps extensions, your forearms should be parallel to the floor and your upper arms tucked in close to your body. This way, you’ll target the right muscles and reach peak contraction.
Inguinal hernias and abdominal wall hernias are common among bodybuilders. Poor lifting form is often the primary cause of hernias. Most times, this type of injury requires injuries and can keep you away from the gym for a long time.
Bad form can also lead to muscle injuries. When a muscle is strained, it forms tiny tears that cause pain and limited range of motion. This kind of injury takes weeks and even months to heal.
Spinal disc problems are often caused by poor lifting form. The fibrous rings that form the intervertebral discs can easily break when injured, leading to severe back pain, leg pain, numbness, and bladder incontinence.
If you’re not sure how to perform an exercise, ask a trainer for help. These common workout mistakes may cause serious injuries and even disabilities. To stay safe, increase the weight gradually, use controlled movements, and breathe properly.