Why Form Matters in Exercise! Clarksville, TN

Today’s discussion is on sensorimotor integration, which is the ability of the nervous system to gather and interpret sensory information and to select and execute the proper motor response.

The reason why this is so important is because our motor behavior, our response to internal and external stimuli, is constantly sending information to and from our Central Nervous System (CNS). It does this through motor learning and motor developments. What happens is, when an athlete uses improper form and techniques, their bodies will develop improper sensory information which is delivered to the CNS. This will lead to movement compensations and injury in the future.

Lifting with improper form is essentially teaching your body and CNS to move in an unnatural way. If we continue exercising this way, it leads to synergistic muscles (secondary muscles, not the prime muscle movers for that exercise) being recruited to compensate and perform the movement. This is why learning proper form and technique from a fitness professional is so crucially important. The goal should not be to race through movements with a “time constraint”, but to utilize proper control and positioning to better activate the prime muscle movers and align your body in the correct way.

Now, speaking to fitness professionals and coaches: be on the lookout for your client’s form! If you see a winging scapula during a simple bicep curl, or a knee valgus (inward collapse of the knee joint) at the bottom of a squat, this needs to be corrected immediately. Your client MAY be able to get away with this for a short time, but it will lead to further injury down the road. This is a compensation for posture, strength, or potentially anatomy. Don’t be afraid to dig deeper to find the root cause of the error, and fix it before injury!!

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