What is Proper Form? Advice From Our West Hartford Connecticut Personal Trainer
Our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut knows that there are key fundamental movements and that there are textbook instructions on how those exercises should be performed, but he stresses that unfortunately, we don’t live in a textbook world.
“This post my get a little push back with some of those in the industry, but I firmly believe there is no such thing as a set form for any exercise,” says our Personal Trainer in West Hartford Connecticut.
“Now, that being said, for every exercise there are standard positions that the body needs to be in to keep it safe and get the most out of the exercise. But to put an exercise in a strict box without any room for variation is a little asinine.”
Our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer goes on to say that every person is an individual. Every trainer understands, or at least should, the necessity of individualization. Every program should be individualized to the needs and goals of the client; there should be corrective exercises to account for the muscular compensations every client presents. So why wouldn’t an experienced trainer allow room for variations in form?
Trainers –including our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut– can change many things and improve them anatomically. But those things are always going to be either soft tissue or neuromuscular adaptations.
What trainers can NOT change is the structure. That is the skeletal system. Bone cannot be manipulated or changed.
“Why is this important to know, and why is pertinent to this article?” asks our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer.
He feels, simply, that trainers can improve flexibility, range of motion, muscle control, as much as possible, but if there is a structural limitation the only thing a trainer can do is adapt and present variations!
For instance if, as a West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer, he has two clients– one with a longer floor-to-knee structure (heal, ankle, and shin) compare to knee-to-hip (femur) length, and one with shorter floor-to-knee and longer knee-to-hip–how is that going to affect their squat?
The first client is, structurally, the perfect squatter. They can perform a textbook squat without any struggle and will perform it quite well. This client will give our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer a false hope that every client can do a perfect squat, perfectly.
However, when the second client tries to perform a “traditional” squat, he will NEVER be able to get full depth, will have considerable trunk flexion, and will complain that squats hurt his lower back.
Our personal trainer in West Hartford Connecticut says it does not matter how much mobility work and movement pattern repetition one does with this client, he will never be able to perform a “perfect squat.” Simply, he is limited by his structure and he cannot change the structure.
BUT, what if our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer had the client take a slightly wider stance and put a small lift under his heels?
Now he’d have created a longer floor-to-knee length (with the lift) and a shorter knee-to-hip (by widening the stance the femur is now at an angle which makes it act shorter). Suddenly, our West Hartford Connecticut personal trainer has a person who could never squat, squatting perfectly and on their way to transformation. While this may not be a text book squat we now have a client performing an exercise safely and efficiently when previously he never could.
What this means is putting anything in our industry into a rigid box will be a trainer’s downfall. If, as a trainer, you have a good understanding of anatomy, if you can understand the structure, understand angle of pinnation, understand physics, then you will be able to make any exercise work for every client. You can modify and create variations that allow the clients to work the muscles and movement patterns that they need safely and efficiently. Knowledge, creativity, and adaptability are the three strongest attributes that any trainer can have. Just as form is important, our West Hartford Personal Trainer has worked with several pregnant clients who needs to make adjustments with their current and proper exercise routines!