How Important is Exercise Technique?

paul-fischer-framework-personal-trainingFor as much discussion and debate as the topic of exercise technique gets – and how important it is in the big scheme of fitness, form and function – the answer is surprisingly simple.

Let’s look at the mechanics.

The farther the body moves away from a neutral position, the more wear and tear on the body. A neutral position for the body involves proper alignment of the ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle if viewed from the side. The more forward the head, the more rounded the shoulders become. This promotes a steeper lumbar spine extension. Here’s where the trouble really starts: when you move into this posture, it equates to poor motor programming. That means you’re actually training the body to move like this. And that’s setting up a long-term problem.

We’re all working against gravity and degeneration on a daily basis. Poor exercise technique only adds to that. It may not be noticeable today or next week – but it’s coming. Pain in the body is rarely the result of an immediate movement, unless it’s a fall or loss of balance. Pain from improper exercise form generally shows up years later, and it can’t necessarily be traced. The best thing you can do is practice proper technique now. And if you don’t know what that is, consult someone who does.

In this age of HIIT workouts, P90-X, boot camps and plyo training, technique is more important than ever. Movement for the body is healthy, no question, but ultimately, it’s at its best when it is proper movement. That’s what will keep those nagging injuries to a minimum.

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