Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rest Day. Form Versus Function

Take today off and let your body heal. While resting today I wanted to pose a question to you. When working out you have probably been told your entire life to watch your form. Form is the most important aspect of lifting weights, running, etc... I have even read articles related to functional fitness that say when your form breaks stop the workout. What do you think?

Although I agree that when your form breaks your risk of injury increases, however I believe form follows function. If you train for function your form will be better than those individuals who train for form. When training for function you don't isolate a specific muscle. You don't even isolate a specific muscle group. Most of the workouts are full body and require all muscles, even the small stabilizing muscles to work. When you train you body strictly for form you are only training those muscles to maintain that form. When you get tired and break that form, what is you backup? In firefighting activities we typically break form, perform activities at strange angles or positions, and we don't have the luxury to stop if our form starts to break down.

So when perform these exercises don't worry about form. Don't stress over the perfect push up or pull up. Most of these workouts are designed to exhaust certain muscles and by design force you to break form and train other groups. Pay special attention, though, to injury prevention. Don't let your form go to the point you get hurt. One thing you will find is that as you train more your form will maintain longer and you will be able to perform the workouts faster using the large muscles. That is the concept to form follows function.

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