Less may be more…with reps!

Less may be more…with reps!

I was finishing up my workout last night and began thinking about how many people choose to focus on the number of reps they do rather than the form of their rep.  Proper form is very important, and I would go as far to say it is vital to a successful workout regime.  I will use crunches as an example, but push-ups, squats, and lunges are other exercises that are also great examples of how using improper or incorrect form can hurt you rather than aid you in your fitness goals.  So, let’s consider 100 crunches as your goal.  You decide that 100 is a great, solid number and after several years of pushing yourself hard in the cardio room you feel it is time to work on your strength and core by doing crunches.  You begin doing bicycle crunches where you rotate your legs inward and outward as you do your crunch (see the picture below if you are having a hard time visualizing what a bicycle crunch is).  You get to 40 crunches easily, but after 40 you start getting tired yet you continue struggling and forcing yourself through the reps to get to 100.  After pushing yourself through the reps you feel accomplished, but you also recognize that your muscles weren’t actually working at the end like they were at the beginning because you weren’t able to push your arms as close to your knees as you should have due to exhaustion.  This is where bad form is actually hurting you because it is no longer working your muscles in the way that they should be working if you do the exercise in the correct form.  My suggestion and advice is to remember not to do 100 crunches unless you can actually do 100 proper form crunches.  If you cannot do 100 proper form crunches then it is better to do the number that you can do maintaining the correct form.  If you can only do 40 proper form crunches then do 40 proper form crunches rather than 100 crunches with 60 crunches being in poor form.  It is better to build yourself up over time by starting with the number of crunches you can do using proper form and adding increments of 10 reps over time.

My point is if you aren’t where you want to be yet, you soon will be and using the proper form to get there will be much better and will get you there faster than doing improper form because you are playing a “numbers game” in your head.  Remember quality OVER quantity in your workout will help you see your results faster and maintain them over time.

Why is that?  This is because you are using your muscles properly and efficiently, which allows them to be stretched and strengthened in ways that help condition them over time.  In other words, the proper form is ensuring that you maximize your results.  Thus, without the proper form, the muscles you are seeking to improve don’t get worked properly, the muscles become overly tired and lose the correct form, and you don’t make a lasting effect on the body muscles you are working.

So, with that, consider your FORM every single time you are doing crunches, squats, lunges, and push-ups so that you are doing the proper form and thus maximizing your results when you exercise.  After all, if you aren’t using the correct form, the only person you are cheating is yourself because your results won’t be the results you want to see and feel.


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