Proper exercise form is essential for success when training for anything from general fitness to bodybuilding contests. It is the quality of training that influences your progress, more than the quantity. Time under tension, angle of movement, range of motion, and many other factors all contribute to a particular resistance training session. It is important to understand the proper mechanics of training to get the most benefit from your time. The dangers of using incorrect exercise are big and could potentially have a negative impact on your future.

People who tend to use poor exercise form are usually uneducated or ego lifters. When those who are uneducated perform an exercise incorrectly for a period of time, it becomes a pattern that’s very difficult to break out of. They often develop a certain technique because its more efficient from an energy-conservation standpoint. Let bones, ligaments and fascia do more of the work so that the muscles won’t have to work so hard. It is in most people’s nature to find the easiest, quickest way of doing something. While this is indeed efficient from an energy conservation standpoint, it is incredibly in-efficient from a long term joint health stand point. It is better to either learn correctly from the start or go back to the drawing board.

I’m sure we all know who the ego lifters are in our gym. It’s usually someone that slaps on plate after plate on a bench press and performs half or quarter reps. It’s simple really – leave the ego at the door and if you can’t complete a full rep at the weight, then it’s too heavy. Using a weight that’s too heavy will put unnecessary pressure on your joints, ligaments and tendons and eventually lead to an injury. Whether it be a serious one incurred in the gym or a repetitive strain injury, it is going to happen sooner or later. It is just not worth chasing a number on a squat or deadlift to risk your health and potentially put you on the sidelines.

Weight training is a great hobby and is one of the best activities you can get involved in, in my opinion. It is an incredibly healthy and positive thing to do with lots of great benefits. If you use proper exercise form then it’s something you can do all the way in to your sixties and seventies, health permitting of course. It’s not a high contact physical sport such as football, rugby or boxing where the risk of injury is high and widely accepted. If you lift properly, correctly and safely then you should be able to lift weights in to your twilight years.

I for one would love to be training in 30-40 years time but the only way that is possible is if I train smartly. I want to avoid unnecessary knee and hip replacements and constant back pain which is often what many bodybuilders are left with after years of abuse. I’m not saying don’t train hard but take your time and use you head. Do things properly and safely and above all else, don’t let our ego get the best of you.