There is nothing wrong with going all out in the gym; in fact, that’s what we’re all there to do. There is, however, much wrong with going hard whilst in the wrong stance, grip, or without proper equipment and support. This almost always results in eventual injury which can leave you sidelined for weeks or worse, permanently injured. A few pointers on maintaining form:
The ‘athletic stance’, with knees bent and straight over the toes, is a classic and common position you’ll always hear referred to. There’s a reason it’s so prevalent- it keeps you safe while performing exercises! The reason you want to keep knees over toes is to maintain proper alignment of your body’s natural positioning in the legs. If your knees remain over the toes, you can be sure that you’re not putting awkward and dangerous pressure from odd angles on your knee and its ligaments. You’ll also be keeping the right muscles firing off in equal proportion by maintaining this position.
This goes hand in hand with the first one! Knees over toes, and butt out keep everything aligned where it should be in your body. If your rear end isn’t out in the rear enough, you’re likely going to have your knees out of wack and other parts too, prior to performing an exercise.
There is virtually no workout move on the planet that requires the body to strain and arch in order to pull up a weight or object. The back is critical to the overall smooth movement of your body; every motion you can think of is connected through your trunk. The spine is also filled with delicate and crucial nerves which, if damaged, can lead to serious injury and permanent issues. Whether deadlifting, swinging a kettle bell, or doing a body weight squat- keep that back straight and protect your spine! Engaging your core is also very helpful in protecting this area of the body- it keeps everything solid and joined together.
Never forget to breathe! Whether straining to lift that new PR weight or feeling entirely winded from a sprint, you have to keep getting oxygen into your body and bloodstream. Try to remember that the more smoothly you breathe, the more efficient you can work while exercising. When running, keep a consistent rhythm of breath. When lifting, inhale on release and exhale sharply for exertion. Above all else, don’t forget to rake in that oxygen!