Better Form Makes A Better Athlete
Become A Better Athlete
Here’s a very simple argument as to why having better form in your movements will make you a better athlete: You are less likely to get hurt with proper form, therefore you can actually remain an athlete for a longer period of time.
That argument is true, but it’s not the argument I’m about to make.
There are much more compelling and, in my opinion, motivating arguments as to why you should move with perfect form, and why that will pay off very quickly.
What is Proper Form?
It’s easy for us to get lazy and revert back to what our body naturally wants to do while working out or in a HIIT Class or while in an athletic competition. Sometimes we are too focused on trying to beat the person next to us, so we do whatever we can to perform our athletic task and get the work done. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t always automatically use the most efficient form to perform a task, because we have spent too many years doing it incorrectly. We have wired our bodies to move a specific way, and it’s probably not the best way.
I said a key word there, did you catch it? I said “efficient”. Actually I typed it, but either way now it’s out there. Stop thinking of “proper form” as “the safest form” (even though it is). Rework your brain to think of “proper form” as “the most efficient form”. Then you might realize that it truly is the best way to move.
Proper form in anything, be it running or swimming or squatting or climbing a rope, is the form that is the most efficient for your body. The form that requires the least amount of energy to get the work done. That’s why Olympic champions and the greatest athletes all look so perfect when they move, because they are extremely efficient and don’t require much energy to perform their task.
This is called movement economy – having a good economy of movement means your body doesn’t use up much energy to move. That means if you and another athlete both have the same aerobic capacity and strength, but that other athlete moves more efficiently than you and has better movement economy, they will beat you. Every time.
So the immediate payoff is this – by using proper form you are instantly moving more efficiently. It may feel foreign to you at first, but it’ll quickly start to feel better and you will suddenly be able to perform more work with less effort, because you are conserving energy by moving perfectly. More work with less effort means you can run longer, perform more sets, hold a pace better, etc. without changing anything other than your movement patterns.
In your next training session you should put 100 percent focus on moving AS CORRECTLY AS POSSIBLE, with the best form you can. Do NOT let yourself revert back to old ways, even if you get tired or lazy or competitive. Finish your session with full focus on perfecting your form. Each day this will get easier.
Long Term Gains
If you start to focus on perfecting your form immediately, you will also be setting yourself up for substantial progress in the future if you stay consistent.
First of all, the more you move correctly the more you will be reinforcing that perfect movement pattern. You will be saturating yourself with good movement. Then down the line when you are pushing hard in a race and doing everything you can to finish, your body will naturally default to perfect movement so you will continue to be efficient even when pushing at race pace.
Second of all, if you start moving correctly right now in training then you are finally utilizing the correct muscles to perform the task. By utilizing the correct muscles, you are training them and they will become stronger over time. Let’s say that up until now you always went up on your toes in a squat because your glutes are weak and you naturally wanted to take the bulk of the load with your quads. By doing this every time, you wouldn’t ever train your glutes to actually become strong. Now, if you make yourself stay on your full foot and squat properly by using your glutes, they will start to get stronger and in the long run you will have a MUCH better squat because you are finally using the correct muscles. Combine stronger squat with more efficient movement and you are now a significantly better athlete.
This is true with anything. It’s a recipe for improvement. Proper form trains the correct muscles and is extremely efficient. In the world of athletic competition, the people who are obsessed with form are making better gains day by day, week by week and year after year.
How To Learn
Invest in yourself and find a coach who knows what perfect form is. When that coach tells you what you are doing wrong or how you could move better, realize that it might feel weird right now but it’s going to pay off very soon. Put your ego aside and fix the movement.
Saturate yourselves with good movement so that you can be the best athlete you can be.