When working out, one way to avoid unneccessary injury is to execute correct form. Whether you are doing deadlifts, running, swinging a kettlebell, pushups, pullups, etc., there is a science behind every exercise movement and an exact, correct way to do it. There are thousands of videos on the web with people demonstrating exercise form (some correct and some not so much). Whether you have a personal instructor or are using web content, the hard part is taking what you’ve seen and replicating that with the exact same form.
Anyone who works out hard and very intensely for an extended duration faces the challenge of fatigue and as a correlating result: slipping form. As your body fatigues and your form begins to slip, your potential for injury is really increases. My mentor and coach Mark always says, “Train hard, train smart!” Both are equally important: hard generates results, and smart keeps you injury-free and able to keep working out, which is pretty important.
Let’s move on to what the title of the blog post is actually about. It is critically important to evaluate your form from time-to-time. Over time, as you learn and ‘master’ a particular routine or exercise, it is easy to fall into the mindset that you will continue to always do that routine or exercise with good form. It is common to pick up bad habits form-wise without realizing it. I understand that not everyone has access to a qualified trainer who can point out and correct flaws in their form. While that is obviously ideal, there are alternatives.
As an alternative, you can record yourself via video. Go back and watch that video (even in slow motion). While you may not be able to notice every little nuance in your form, it is quite likely that you will notice any bad habits that you have picked up. For example, you may notice that your body is not perfectly ramrod straight when doing something as simple as pushups – perhaps your knees are dipping, maybe your butt is too high, etc. Consider pro golfers. Even the best golfers in the world develop issues / hitches with their swing that they either self-evaluate or use a swing coach to correct in order to return to world class form.
Lastly, don’t forget to practice exact and correct form. The more you practice the right form, the more ingrained in your mind the form will be. As your workout progresses, and your body fatigues, your mind will rely on the correct form that you have time and time again stamped into it.