3 Reasons Exercise Form is a Priority Over Lifting Heavy

We see it at least once every time we’re working out at the gym. Someone is lifting heavy weights, which is a good thing, but exercise form and technique is lacking. Is good form more important than lifting heavy? Both are needed of course, and with the right mindset, both can be an integral part of a workout. Here are three reasons why it’s so important to use good form and technique each time you workout.

You’re Only a Rep Away from Getting Injured

Executing proper form during each repetition with every set of each exercise, is important mainly because of one word…injury. Mastering technique for each lift you perform, in the gym or at home, will help keep injuries at bay. If for no other reason, this one is a big one. The last thing you want is to pull a back muscle during a deadlift or strain a shoulder pushing weight overhead. Rounding your back while executing a deadlift or squat will do exactly that! Good form, proper body mechanics, and core stabilization during any lift, will improve the efficiency of the movement and help to prevent an injury.

Improper Form Recruits Other Muscle Groups into Play

An exercise like a barbell biceps curl is not meant to be a total body lift. When someone uses momentum, swinging the upper body, in order to “assist” in curling the weight, it takes away from working the biceps fully (100%). Another exercise that is often performed using improper form is the bench press. You can feel that low back arching off the bench as you read this. Any time someone uses improper form during a lift, especially during an isolation movement, that area will not get worked efficiently as it would with perfect form.

Good Exercise Form Helps You Reach Goals Faster

It takes someone typically much longer to reach their fitness goals when improper form is continually used. Not to mention, that person usually has to deal with a higher rate of injury. Using proper form places your muscle in perfect alignment, and from this vantage point, the muscle is able to generate the highest amount of force. This in turn, can potentially increase strength at a faster rate while reaching your fitness goals quicker, like hitting a new 1-RM.

It is your call but using good form when lifting heavy continues to beneficial in regard goals faster and avoiding injuries.

Use Jefit to Record and Track Your Strength Training Workouts

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. In addition, the app has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

How to Use a Pool to Recover Faster From Workouts

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There is a reason why you hear about athletes hitting the pool after a workout. Using a pool post workout can be a crucial component of training, in turn, helping the body recover faster. There are many known benefits associated with active recovery sessions in the pool. This can come following a hard workout in the gym or after an athletic event. I remember back as an assistant strength & conditioning coach at the University of Connecticut (Go Huskies!), we typically put the football team in the pool as an active recovery following a weekend game. A recovery workout in the pool will help reduce muscle soreness, flush out lactic acid, and prevent a drop-off in athletic performance.

Research from a 2010 study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine concluded “swimming-based recovery sessions enhanced following day exercise performance.” A second study, in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, demonstrated an active pool recovery was the most efficient method at clearing blood lactate in the body, followed by massage, and finally passive recovery.

Swim to Recover Faster

Here is an easy to follow active recovery routine to try. Perform each movement for a lap or two depending on the length of the pool you’re in. Focus on working your muscles through their full range of motion with each movement. The water is great to do this in because there is almost no gravity placed on the body and only about 10 percent of your bodyweight is used in the pool due to the buoyancy.

  • Forward walking lunge with arm movement.
  • Swim underwater.
  • Backward walking lunge with arm movement.
  • Swim underwater.
  • Walk forwards.
  • Jump and dive repeats.
  • Walk backwards.
  • Carioca.
  • Squat and jump repeats.

One final note on swimming in general. Researchers at University of South Carolina followed 40,547 adults ages 20 to 90 for more than three decades. They discovered that swimmers, regardless of their age, were about 50 percent less likely to die during the study than were couch potato’s, walkers, or runners.

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Water Therapy Post Injury

Another great reason to get in the pool, in addition to helping the body recover faster from a workout, relates to injury recovery. The properties of water – buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure, density – are highly effective for rehabilitation. These properties make water therapy an ideal modality to regain function, muscle strength, balance, and range of motion.

The simple act of deep water running can help reduce your recovery time drastically. Position a “noodle” around your back or chest and under both arms to help you float. Begin, going side-to-side in the pool for laps or designated time. As your endurance improves, start using the full length of the pool. Always use a full range of motion, maintain a tall posture, keep core engaged, and use proper arm action during each lap. Progress to wearing a floating vest or waist unit in order to execute better arms action. It can be a great workout especially after a few weeks of inactivity, it feels great to move pain-free in the water.

Research has shown that swimming laps for an hour burns 690 calories. Treading water – vigorously – expends about 11 calories a minute (same as running a 6-minute mile pace), to give you some context of energy expenditure via the pool.

Stay Active with Jefit

The award-winning Jefit app, was named best app for 2021 by PC Magazine and Men’s Health. It comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong and recover well using Jefit.

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Three Helpful Tips When Recovering From An Injury

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Many of us have already been there, with respect to an injury. If not, the odds are you will probably be there at some point; recovering from an injury. It comes with the territory of working out.

The National Health Statistics Reports reported 8.6 million sports injuries, a rate of 34.1 per 1,000 individuals. A second report by the National Safety Council Injury Facts noted 44.5 million injuries in the United States. This past year, the number for exercise-related injuries alone were approximately 500,000; while biking and basketball reported more than 400,000 injuries apiece.

The odds are pretty high that you’ll probably have to deal with an exercise or sports-related injury at some point during your lifetime. The best exercise advice, post injury, is to “just do it” building-up slowly with your exercise duration and intensity. If you’re thinking about taking an exercise class or participating in small group training, beware of the tendency to push a little harder and go beyond your normal limits when working out with others. Avoid the urge to “show off” due to the group dynamic and instead work within your own abilities.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind whenever you get laid up and are dealing with an injury.

The Psychological Toll May Be Greater Than Initially Realize

If an injury progresses from short-term to a chronic issue, you may be effected psychologically more than you realize. You may even experience a bout of mild depression because you are no longer able to reap the “feel good” benefits of daily exercise like you did prior to injury. This could eventually take its toll on your mind, body and spirit. If this is the case, you may want to talk to someone with a medical background. Other possible suggestions that may help are yoga or daily meditation. Remember, “we become what we think about.” Injuries also have the potential to increase stress levels (like cortisol) in our body and the options mentioned here, may be just what the doctor ordered during the recovery process.

Reduced Physical Activity Means Nutritional Modification

This is a must do. When recovering from an injury, your daily activity level decreases. You will no longer expend the same amount of calories as you did previously and consequently, need to eat less. Be cognizant of the fact that if you continue to consume the amount of calories you were eating pre-injury, you most likely will experience an increase in body weight. Talk about another added stress! You are no longer creating a negative deficit or maintaining a “balance” regarding calories in versus calories out. As an example, your number of steps may decrease from an active 10-12,000 steps a day to a sedentary 3,500 steps following a foot injury. If caloric intake is not monitored – you guessed it – an increase in body weight will occur.

Again, this comes down to the type of injury and if you’re totally sedentary or able to do some type of activity. An idea may be to keep a food journal for a few days to look at what you’re consuming. Also, try using an app in order to offer better insight into your nutritional intake. I typically recommended using MyFitnessPal app. This is a very helpful app that offers insightful metrics in respect to what your eating. It also has a great barcode scanner that can take pictures of food or drink products. Finally, it is equipped with a chart showing macro and micronutrient breakdown of meals and snacks. Personally, I like it because it makes life much easier when it comes to monitoring both overall calories and daily sugar consumption.

Find an Alternative Form of Exercise When Recovering From An Injury

The location of your injury will ultimately dictate what you can and cannot do. A foot injury, for example, may allow you to get back into biking or to do some pool therapy.

You can also check out an ElliptiGO SUB (stand-up bike), a cool, fun to use, product that I highly recommend. One of the great things about the SUB is it burns 33 percent more calories than a traditional bike and will avoid any low-back or neck pain typically found using a traditional bike. How about doing more SUB and SUP if you’re able during the recovery process? Two great full-body workouts that burn maximal calories in minimal time without loading the body like other activities.

There are a multitude of factors that can lead to an injury. When you’re recovering from an injury, think about the root cause of your injury and become more mindful of the exercise equipment you’re using. Take a look at what you’re wearing when you workout, for example, are the bottom of your sneakers worn away? Maybe you have logged 500-600 miles in them already? This will change the way you strike the ground not to mention your gait.

In addition, think about being more preventative by adding “pre-hab” exercises to your workout. Always make time to warm-up your body prior to any type of exercise. Finally, adding more restorative work like massage and mobility while paying more attention to post-recovery diet, may also help your cause. Keep your body injury free by becoming strong with Jefit.

Stay Strong With The Jefit App

Join the more than nine million members who’ve had great success using the Jefit app. The award-winning app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Stay strong with Jefit.

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