• Jessica Kilinski

5 Reasons to Check Your Exercise Form

If you aren't checking in on your form during your workouts, you're hurting your progress and potentially setting yourself up for injury. There's often a gap between knowing what to do and actually doing it.

Here are five reasons you (or someone else) should be checking your form:

  1. You'll decrease your chance of injury.

If your body is moving properly, you're putting less stress on your joints. You'll keep your shoulders, knees, and back happier if you can learn how to perform exercises correctly. Of course, there are always things out of our control and this won't guarantee an injury-free session.

2. Your performance will improve.

Setting up good alignment helps your muscles do their jobs. Whether you want to lift more, run faster, or whatever it is you like to do, your form in the gym will help. Even small changes can make a difference -- the simple acts of rooting through your feet or bracing through your core can translate into a stronger overhead press.

3. It will help improve your posture in daily life.

I can't tell you how many of my clients tell me they notice their posture improving outside of the gym as a result of what we do together. Not only will your posture look better, but you'll also feel better doing things around the house or out in the world.

4. You'll get more out of the exercises.

Using the "right" muscles rather than just going through the motions will help you get a "core" workout without doing any crunches. It will also make the exercises more challenging -- I'm often hearing my clients say "But it's so much harder that way!" when I show them how to improve their form.

5. You'll look better doing it.

Seriously, have you ever looked at someone doing a sloppy push-up? You know, the ones where their hips and low back are sagging, their head is doing a lot of bobbing, and they're barely moving their arms. Does that look good? Wouldn't you rather look like that rock-solid person who doesn't look like they're about to fall apart?

Even coaches need eyes on their form from time to time. I spent over 6 months training for a kettlebell certification, an entire weekend learning and practicing those skills at the certification, and 6 months later am still finding things I can improve.

So, how can you check your own form? Set up your smartphone and record a set. Play it back, look for one thing you can fix, and try to fix it on your next set.

Don't know what to look for? Reach out to a coach for some help -- oh, hi, I can help! Click here to learn more about how I can help you feel more confident in the gym (or at home during this COVID-19 pandemic).

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