The importance of exercise technique is a much-discussed topic, especially within the context of fitness, form and function, but the truth is actually quite simple. It all boils down to the mechanics – that’s why exercise technique is so important.
The Mechanics of Exercise Technique
It’s a simple equation – the farther a body moves away from its neutral position, the more wear and tear on the body. A body is in neutral position when it’s properly aligned from ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle (viewed from the side).
Think about your own posture. When your head is pitching forward, your shoulders will become more rounded. This position promotes a steeper lumbar spine extension. That’s troublesome by itself, but here’s where the real problems begin: when you’re in this posture, you’re establishing poor motor programming. In other words, you’re actually training your body to move into this position. And that’s the beginning a long-term problem.
When you have bad exercise technique, not only are you compromising the integrity of the exercise and putting yourself at greater risk of injury, you’re also laying the groundwork for problems later in life.
The Real Impact of Poor Exercise Technique
Each of us works against gravity and degeneration every day, and poor exercise technique only exacerbates that. You may not feel it today or next week, but it’s coming. Unless it’s the result of an injury, it’s rare that pain in the body is the result of an immediate movement. Pain from poor exercise technique generally shows up years later, and it can’t always be traced properly. So don’t risk it. The best thing you can do is practice proper technique now. And if you’re not sure what that looks like, you should ask someone who does.
In this age of high intensity interval training, boot camps and training regiments like P90-X, proper exercise technique is more important than ever. Movement for the body is healthy and important, but make sure you’re doing it right. It’s the best way to keep injuries to a minimum now and ensure proper body function down the road.
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