The term gets thrown around a lot in gym’s but often the definition is not clear to the trainee. So what exactly is good form? Granted every coach may have a different ideology, but here is ours at CrossFit Frantic and Fitness HQ.
In order of most important:
- Pain Free: Range of motion, speed and load/complexity allows for pain free movement. This means potentially reducing or changing all three and practicing until this is possible. There may also need to be considerable mobility, releases and body awareness drills to “earn” back these ranges of motion. Remember this quote when approaching improving pain, “If a movement can get you into pain, the same movement can get you out of it” by Dr Eric Cobb. What he’s essentially saying is in every pain signal there is a possibility and potential to get better. It all depends on how your coaches and practitioners can guide you and how much work your willing to put in.
- Spine is neutral and joints kept away from hypermobility where possible. The body is one system and is designed to be moved as one. Putting excess pressure on one group of joints or a singular vertebrae is only going to end in drama’s down the track. Therefore neutral is always our main priority, this changes based on the task required of the athlete. As an example a barbell is shaped very differently to a stone and would therefore have a very different looking “neutral” spine. The key is that the load is spread as evenly as possible. As with most things in life balance is difficult to attain but essential for long term progression.
- Movement is repeatable. If it cannot be repeated for multiple repetitions then a reduction in speed, range of motion or intensity may be required. It takes 10,000 reps to achieve mastery and that level of mastery depends on the HOW you did those reps. Your initial training months in particular are crucial to getting the most out of yourself. Build a strong foundation and you’ll continue to progress long into the future.
- Movement can progress in strength and efficiency. This may not initially be the case as the position or technique may be foreign at first. This is due to daily patterns changing our body awareness and tuning us for sub optimal movement. Over time however, we should see the ability to progress strength and rep range with quality programming and consistency.
We wrap this definition up with an ability to maintain these rules 80-90% of the time, making accept-ions for the reality that we are human beings and in no way perfect. Awareness is key and the degree with which you vary from Good Form is the most important factor. Whether your going for a 1RM or a workout involving higher reps, sticking as close to that form 80-90% of the time will set you up for success in the future and keep you healthy. And if your unsure if what your feeling looks like it should, we’ve got awesome coaches there to provide quality feedback.