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Essentials of a workout schedule (Part 3) - Exercise Form & Range of motion

Sairamnath Ananthakrishnan
Sairamnath Ananthakrishnan

There are three things which we should know in our life and most importantly the difference between them. They are:
a. Need
b. Want
c. Greed
Need is the basic which we cant survive without. It is defined as a ‘Must Have’ in our lives. Examples of Need are food, shelter. Want could be defined as a ‘Nice to have’. Examples of want are furnitures, bike/car etc., which are nice to have but still we can survive without it. There is a thin line of difference between a want and greed. Anything excess of what is needed is greed. Examples of it could be being too materialistic or even binging (Could be eating more even if full or buying things which are already in place).
But what have these go to do with Form & Range of motion which is associated with fitness activity? It does, very well. If you are inspired by models or actors or body builders and in the quest of becoming like them, you tend to over do certain things in the gym which leads to serious problems. In other words, if you are trying to achieve a dream physique and if you lift weights unmindful of the form and the range of motion, you have a guest knocking at your door. He is called ‘DISASTER’. Never Ego lift but when you do so, disaster meets and greets you either at the spot or accompanies you home. Disaster could be in the form of a slip disc or a disc bulge or ligament tears or spasms or at the least a sprain.
Form & Range of motion are very crucial to any successful workout session. When the form and range of motion is right, the targeted muscle is activated well and prevents any possible injury to the body parts. We come across several form related issues be it compound or isolation movements. As simple as rocking your body back and forth in a bicep curl to rounding backs or hyperextended necks during deadlifts.
In this article, the most common exercise among fitness enthusiasts and the most common errors committed during the movement will be covered. So the exercise in discussion is squats. Being one of most important compound movement for strength & hypertrophy, barbell squats are performed erroneously by newbies and even with lifters with few years of experience. So what are the most common errors observed in this compound movement? Lets see them
1. Anterior Pelvic Tilt:
Now during the upward movement from the squatting position, the lifter starts by excessively lifting the chest. In short, Anterior pelvic tilt is a position when the front part of the pelvis drops forward and back part of the pelvis rises causing the hip flexors to shorten and hip extensor muscle to lengthen causing the tilt position
2. Hips raising first:
When the lifter is trying to get back to the starting position from the squat, he/she raises the hip faster than the shoulders. Weight is also shifted to the heels which results in the hip shooting upwards during the concentric portion of the exercise
3. Pushing hips forward:
The lifter while getting back to the starting position from the squat, pushes the hip forward which in other case should not be, as it can terribly stress your erector spinae. This can typically happen when he/she is over-contracting the gluteus muscle after getting back from the squatting position.
Key Takeaway:
There is nothing to be ashamed of personally when you are lifting lesser than the other folks in the gym. Some people may have perfected the form over time which gives them the confidence to lift heavier than you and some may lift heavier sacrificing form and range of motion just to satisfy their ego. An ultimate workout progress is not the amount of weight lifted or the number of reps you can do but with a perfect form and range of motion targeting the intended muscle. There is absolutely no two ways about this. Happy lifting !!