How much time do you really spend on mastering lifting techniques? It’s common knowledge that good form or proper lifting technique is very important to both maximize training gains and minimize the chance of injury. Yet many don’t understand exactly why, and therefore fail to make it a priority. In this article we will explain the importance of good form and lifting technique during warm-up sets in order to protect against injury and maximize progress.
Good form during warm up sets
One simple way to improve form is by practising exercises using a moderate weight and focusing on perfect technique. A great time to do this is during warm up sets. Warm up sets should not only be used to warm up the body, but they should also prepare the nervous system to perform an exercise.
It’s not just about getting your muscles and joints warm
The neural component of the lift and the movement pattern and coordination required to perform the lift, is just as important as being warm. If form is poor during the warm up sets and proper technique is not focused on, an injury during the heavier work sets is more likely to occur. The warm up sets should serve to make sure the specific areas that are being trained are warm. It should also prepare an athlete’s nervous system to execute the specific and coordinated movement pattern required by the exercise being performed.
Protection against Injury
Good form protects against injury because it places an athlete in a safe position. In most cases good form also places an athlete in their strongest position, allowing them to lift the most weight. The back squat is a good example of this. Correct technique will place an athlete in a balanced position which allows them to control the weight over their center of gravity and keep their back straight. Good form in the back squat reduces strain on the lower back, and knees.
Always remember: Technique first. Use the warm up sets to help improve form and warm up at the same time. It’s important to make sure that proper lifting technique is constantly maintained. Keep in mind, the weight to be lifted should only be increased if good form can be kept up. Form before weight, every time!