After 20 years of resistance training and progressing from a newbie to intermediate and now advanced lifter, I can honestly say nothing is more important to building a solid physique than practicing perfect form on all your lifts.
I can walk into any gym today and immediately point out 75% of the trainees executing lifts with poor form. Lack of bend in the knees, arching back and shoulders ,improper stances and grips, too much weight on the bar, will all hinder and prevent you from ever building a structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing physique.
It’s very difficult to learn and execute proper form due to the stress of peer pressure. Many lifters see their friends lifting heavy weights and quickly develop a “more is better” mindset always trying to add more weight to the bar instead of focusing on their technique in executing the movement. What comes next are major muscle imbalances most noticeably over rotated and extended front deltoids. This often results in a misshapen upper body. Walk into any gym and notice the guys who appear to walk around with their shoulder girdles in a state of constant flex and you will know exactly what I’m describing. 😉 It’s very commonplace but easily corrected with a changed mindset of visualization, concentration and controlling the weight in perfect form.
How does one learn to execute perfect form?
There are many ways to learn, but the tried and true way is thru continuous practice in the gym. The Muscle Couple learned from watching others execute lifts who had physiques we admired and constantly reading commentary and books from Exercise physiologists. It doesn’t hurt to ask questions and consult folks in your gym about form and technique. And depending on your finances, you can always hire a personal trainer. You have to be careful as many trainers get into a rut of going thru the motions and not concerning themselves with your form. There are also plenty of places on the web to watch videos of trainees executing correct form including Gym Technik.
Lastly, let’s analyze my earlier statement:
Executing perfect form in a lift requires VISUALIZATION, CONCENTRATION and CONTROLLING THE WEIGHT.
Visualization requires you to picture yourself executing the movement beforehand and allowing your mind to truly see and feel the exercise before you perform it.
Concentration requires you to eliminate all distractions and focus 100% of your energy on finishing your exercise/set
Controlling the Weight requires you to use a weight you can control , executing each rep and set in perfect form.
<NOTE> These principles are discussed in the “Mind Muscle Connection” in commandment #9 in my “10 Commandments of Physique Improvement”
Nobody will learn or execute perfect form when exercising on the first day they enter a gym. It will take months and sometimes years of consistent and focused training to perfect your form.
If you try and remember the acronym V-C-C (Visualize-Concentrate and Control)and make it a focal point when performing your lifts, you will be well on your way to attaining the physique you seek.