I chose to use the saying Form First………. as my motto/tagline or whatever you want to call it, because that is what my first teacher and mentor Dave Draper taught me.
When I was sixteen Dave taught me that the most important thing in weight training and exercise was to utilize proper form.
If correct form is not used, the chance for injury increases and your results will be sporadic at best. All beginners who work with JK Physical Culture learn proper form from the ground up. More “experienced” lifters who have been lifting with bad form for years will re-learn and re-train their nervous system to do it right. The more experienced bad form lifter might say “I’ve been lifting like this and rounding my lower back while I squat for years and i’m not injured!”………..Yet! Usually it’s just a matter of time. So why wait unless you are in some kind of rush to get strong (not something to rush). Re-learn it and minimize the risk for injury, improve posture, and in the long run you will be even stronger.
A good strength coach/personal trainer like JK Physical Culture or a reliable workout partner will be able to give you feedback as you are lifting. If you train alone use the camera on your phone to video your sets, then review before performing your next set (just make sure it does not turn into a distraction from your training -see #2 below)
So what I mean by Form First is, learn and master the movement/exercise before loading or overloading the lift……. before you break. I will never keep adding load to a faulty movement pattern “hoping” it will just correct itself—that is a recipe for disaster.
Besides not even knowing how to perform certain lifts……. two other main factors can be the reason of poor form/technique:
- Poor mobility/flexibility
- Lack of concentration
All new clients of JK Physical Culture, as part of their Personal assessment receive recommended Mobility/flexibility exercises to be done part of their warm up or just part of their normal daily routine. This is individual for each client and based on what they need to work on to improve their lifting and activities of daily living.
As far as not concentrating is concerned……learn to be less distracted. This is one of the benefits to working one on one with your strength coach rather than in a group setting. Stop listening and worrying about what is going around you and internalize what you are about to do and do it. Some exercises require the trainee to concentrate on many cues all at once and if the conversation next to you is encompassing your thoughts then you will just be going through the motions.
So to sum up FORM FIRST = Proper exercise/lifting FORM before Load. Get it right then crush it….not your spine etc.