At Method3 Fitness, our San Jose personal trainers are constantly emphasizing proper form and alignment during workouts. Trust us when we say that focusing on your form is one of the best things you can do to enhance your fitness and achieve your goals.

Why Form Is Key

Form is important for two simple reasons:

  1. Injury prevention – improper form while using resistance can wear away at the joints, leading to irrepairable damage. It can also create excessive tightness in muscles that are prone to tension, making them easier to tear or strain.
  2. Mobility – maintaining proper form allows your muscles and joints to move through a fuller range of motion. That can ultimately contribute to greater flexibility, efficiency of movement (great for athletes), and higher potential for strength gain.

Examples of Improper Form

Common form errors our San Jose personal trainers see are

  • Shoulders shrugging or rolling forward.
  • Misplaced knees – they extend forward, over the toes, collapse toward one another, or bow out away from each other during lower body movements.
  • Curving spine – when your back arches excessively during ab work, such as planks or leg lifts OR rounds forward during hinges (i.e. a deadlift or bent over row)

Proper Form

Alignment Check

A simple way to check your alignment is to notice how you stand on a daily basis. Look at yourself in a full length mirror.

  • Do you tend to slump, shoulders dropping forward, back arching?
  • Are your toes naturally turned out to the sides when you’re standing straight up?

If the answer is yes to either one of these questions, your body may be out of alignment.

Squat Trick

Here’s a quick trick to start training your muscles for proper alignment. All you need is a yoga block. If you don’t have one, a rolled up towel will do.

  1. Grab a your block.
  2. Place your block between your thighs, as high up as you can, and stand tall, squeezing the block gently. As you’re squeezing the block, you’ll feel the inner thighs engaging, and then the outer hips will start to stretch. Make sure your knees, hips and toes are facing straight ahead.
  3. Slowly lower into a squat by bending your knees and pressing your hips back. Don’t forget to keep your feet flat on the floor and continue hugging the block with your thighs. This will engage your inner thighs, which prevent your knees and toes from rotating outward.

Don’t worry if you don’t go too far down. What’s going to happen is that your muscles will start to stretch and the correct muscles will start to fire. Over time, as you practice this move, you’ll create that proper form and alignment in your body.

Improve This Move: If you’re struggling to get down into the squat without your knees dropping forward, try working this move from the bottom up. Sit on a chair with your block between your thighs and stand up. It’s harder than it sounds, so don’t be afraid to recruit a friend to help. Good luck!

Stronger for Today,

The Method3 Fitness Team

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The Method3 Fitness blog is updated weekly. All content is designed to improve the way you move, eat, and think so you can achieve your goals and live stronger for today. Check back here each week and LIKE our Fan Page, to stay up to date on the latest tips, strategies and methods to get fit, lose fat, and build confidence. Ready to get started with us? Click here for a complimentary goal strategy session!

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