Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The philosophy of form...

Emerson wrote that consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.  I will use this in my defense should anyone point out that I contradict myself.  Then I will pull out other rhetoric, winning by boring my critics to death and enjoying the glazing over of their eyes.  Just kidding.  Mostly.

I often write that anything we do is better than nothing.  Today I am going to suggest that we actually have to try to do things well.  This would be that place where I appear to be inconsistent.  Both things are true.  Any work we do toward fitness is good.  I will almost always advocate for getting off the couch, the exceptions being times when we are sick or injured.  Do a little if doing a lot is more than we can handle.

That said, we have to pay attention to form.  It is better to do nothing than to do things that will hurt us in the long run.  If we consistently (hey, there’s that word again!) work out without paying attention to our body mechanics, we are setting ourselves up for future pain and suffering.  In that spirit, I offer these suggestions:

Make friends.  A workout buddy or trainer can help us see things we would otherwise miss.  A little reminder that we have to go through the whole range of motion, or that our elbows are sticking out too far, or that maybe we should use a lighter weight since we are compensating can save us from weeks of rehabilitation.

Make friends with the mirror.  When we work out alone, the mirror can help us correct errors in our proprioception (remember that fancy word?  It means our sense of where our bodies are in space.) that can lead to bad form.

Use abs.  I say some variation of “engage your abs” to clients more often than anything else.  Core strength might be the very best way to ensure proper form.

(The photo is me making friends with a warped mirror...)

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