From Folsom & Sunrise Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor & CalFit Active Coach, Suzanne Cardenas
Proper form is essential when training for anything from general fitness to competitive sports. Often people focus on quantity of reps or speed at the expense of the quality of his or her form. Understanding the proper mechanics of training will not only give you the most benefit from your time, it also helps to prevent injury. Below are some helpful tips:
BUILD YOUR FOUNDATION
Start at your feet, building from the ground up. Many exercises start with feet hip-width apart, toes forward, knees soft. Always build a sturdy base before adding the movement.
KNEES BEHIND TOES
Be sure to keep your knees behind your toes. It may not be possible to always keep your knees behind your toes when walking up a flight of stairs; however squats, lunges and many other exercises are a different story. It is important to keep knees behind toes to focus your weight on muscular systems, not the joints. Proper form will allow you to protect your knees, while strengthening muscles.
ABS IN TIGHT
Keeping your belly in tight may help you look good for a picture; it also helps to engage your abs to support your spine. Often people forget how important this step is. Engaging the abs works the right muscles—and does so much more effectively. Not only will you get more out of the exercise, but you will also gain more strength and power by doing it correctly. This will also help the neck and back muscles relax.
Often people hold their breath during strenuous exercise, however this not only prevents oxygenated blood getting to the brain, but it also causes the neck and face muscles to contract. Exhale on the part of your movement that is most difficult, where the most support is needed for the spine. Be sure to keep your face and neck relaxed while performing the exercise unless of course you are targeting your neck and face muscles.
For more, watch Suzanne on KCRA here.
To speak with Suzanne, contact the Sunrise club at (916) 631-8800 or the Folsom club at (916) 932-0100