How Important is Technique When Exercising?

When I first attended one of those 5 AM outdoor bootcamps, they had us pair up with someone and do a series of exercises.  My partner ended up being a fairly fit woman who looked to be in her mid thirties.  One of the exercises they has us do together was a roughly thirty yard bear crawl.  And I stunk the place up.  I hated it mid way before I was finished as I watched my partner cross the finish line yards ahead of me.  “Drop your butt and use your legs for power.  And synchronize your movements.”, she suggested.  So I did.  And immediately I was able to keep up!

One of the things I keep hearing from trainers or fitness gurus is how important technique is when it comes to exercising.  I can’t tell you how many times I tried lifting weights that were too heavy, tried machines I wasn’t familiar with or attempted exercises (see bear crawl!) I didn’t know how to do.  And a couple of times I actually hurt myself.  Not bad, but enough to cause me to stop working out for a few days.  And after having done that, I agreed with all of them that is is all about technique.

So why is technique so important?  Actually, there are a few reasons.  Besides the obvious, getting injured, proper technique can help minimize effort.  A proper technique of exercise will let us reach our goal in shorter time with less effort put into the whole process.  Also, it will help make workouts much more effective. Inappropriately performed exercises bring little or no effect. In other words, you may want to lower the weights and perform the exercise correctly if you aren’t seeing results.  Not sure if you’re doing them correctly?  Ask a trainer at the gym or you can also record yourself and Google the exercise.  There are loads of videos with qualified trainers showing how to do them.

That’s not to say you can’t or shouldn’t try heavier weights!  I usually use weights I can comfortably perform a lot of reps using proper form.  I do this until I have fatigued the muscle.  But every now and then, I up the weights, only doing a few reps.  And this has worked great for me as far as toning up.

I know there’s so much information out there whether muscle burns more fat or not.  And after reading a lot of it, I still don’t know.  But what I do know is that I have definitely gained muscle, toned up and lost fat.  Granted, most of the fat loss is due to healthy eating but the wife loves the toning!

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