The truth about good form

Most beginners who begin a strength training program are understandably concerned about performing the exercises correctly and avoiding injury. 

But there’s an aspect of good form that is often misunderstood.

Good form is important.

“Perfect” form is not.

First and foremost, good form does NOT imply that you must squat in the exact same stance as the person next to you. Every individual’s anatomy is unique. 

Furthermore, it does NOT mean that you have to squat to the same depth as your workout neighbor. Each person walks into the gym with specific areas of tightness and their own muscle imbalances.

It’s crucial to understand that having good form also does NOT mean your form has to be perfect. As your coach, my responsibility is to ensure you perform the exercise well enough to reap the benefits while minimizing the risk of injury. My role is not to alarm you if your form isn’t flawless.

Now, let’s talk about pain during a workout.

Acute pain should always be avoided. You’ll recognize it when you feel it – that’s your body’s way of raising a red flag.

However, we also want to avoid becoming overly sensitive to pain. My general guideline is this: If the pain or discomfort you experience during an exercise stays the same or lessons as you workout, then its generally safe to continue at that specific intensity.

If the pain or discomfort gets worse, or registers above a 5 out of 10 on the pain scale, then you’re better off modifying to hit the same function, without effecting the sensitive area.

So, yes, proper form is important, and I’ll always ensure you’re performing exercises safely. However, I’ll also encourage you to step into the gray area because venturing outside your comfort zone is where your body adapts and grows. Remember, perfection is the enemy of progress.