Think of technique as a guideline, we want to stick within that guideline to ensure the safety of the movement and the proper activation of the muscle groups being targeted. People tend to stick to the guidelines, but sometimes they stray, that’s when injury could occur and workout effectiveness can decline.
Understanding the Role of Technique in our Various Classes.
Correct exercise technique plays a critical role during your workout. When performing structured set and rep strength training (like AFS’ Group Strength class) technique is very important. The heavy loads and the explosive movements performed can be very dangerous if technique is not performed properly. During circuit training (like the Weight Loss class) proper technique is very important, but for slightly different reasons. During circuit training, correct technique ensures that the right muscle groups are stressed, this allows for maximum energy expenditure and prevents chronic overuse injury. The role that technique plays in your class setting may be different depending on what class you are in; however, one thing is true for any setting. That is, if you start with excellent form, you are more likely to maintain good form through out your workout, which is when you’re tired and most susceptible to injury.
How Proper Technique Reduces Injury.
Every exercise has a correct technique that maximizes muscle activation and also decreases the risk for injury. There are two types of injury that can occur during exercise: acute (sudden/ instantaneous) and chronic (over time).With improper form, both of these can occur; however, chronic overuse injuries tend to be more likely due to poor technique. The reason for this is? Chronic injury tends to happen slowly, and without pain, you may not even know you are doing something wrong/ harmful. Chronic overuse injuries are like an axe chopping down a tree, it’s not the last chop that causes the tree to fall, it’s the 100 before that chipped away at the tree until it reached its breaking point. The body is the same way, it will reach its failure point with enough incorrect load placed on a certain area. Having proper form and technique throughout the duration of your workout will decrease your chances of injury, no matter the class setting or exercise you are performing.
How Proper Technique Enhances Results.
Utilizing proper technique during exercise will allow a couple of things to happen that will maximize your workout. For someone who is lifting weights, focusing strictly on the muscle groups that should be activated ensures the proper training response. In the weight loss class, having proper form will also allow you to go through a full range of motion, which in turn will increase your energy expenditure. By working through this full range of motion you are activating more muscle fibers. This results in greater movement, energy expenditure and eventually greater weight loss due to the increased calorie deficit.
Take Home Message
No matter what exercise setting you’re in, it’s always important to use proper technique. Don’t let fatigue get the better of you! Stress the appropriate muscles groups to maximize energy expenditure, optimize fitness adaptation, and most importantly, prevent chronic and acute injuries.