National Council on Strength & Fitness
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Proper Lifting Technique
Proper Lifting Technique
Observing the participants engaged in exercise in any fitness facility across America identifies that there is a general lack of understanding related to proper exercise technique. When it comes to training technique only two choices exist: 1) correct biomechanical form or 2) incorrect biomechanical form. Therefore, any deviation from that which would be identified as correct would in essence be considered improper execution (or just plain wrong). Interestingly, due to the movement capabilities of the human body it is plausible to “exercise” and not accurately perform any actual exercise when scrutinized for form and technique. This explains in part why there are so many variations in the way exercise is performed in fitness facilities, and possibly why many enthusiasts perceive themselves as having a high fitness IQ when much of what they do is incorrect. The most common errors include incomplete range of motion (ROM) (the half of a half squat), use of momentum (the barbell swing curl), incorrect body position during the exercise (knee crosses the toe lunge) and excess movement in non-motion segments (the hip extended side raise). Many of these errors stem from two issues, (1) no one ever taught the participant how to exercise properly, so their education stems from copying someone else’s bad form or (2) the weight is too heavy for the exerciser. It is fascinating that people often prefer to exercise incorrectly (so as to move more weight) than correctly with the potential to obtain better results. Is it a matter of ego, or the assumption that heavier loads provide better results?
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