September 19th, 2022
When you exercise, various forces impact the body’s joints. These include sheering, rotational, and compression forces. Generally, these small forces help the body become stronger. If, however, the body isn’t aligned properly during a movement, this can do more harm than good.
It’s common to underestimate the importance of alignment during exercise – but it is a critical component of long-term success and injury prevention. So, let’s talk about it!
What is Proper Alignment?
Though good form varies from exercise to exercise, generally speaking, proper form involves having your knees slightly bent, your butt sticking out slightly (like Donald Duck!) and engaging your core and hip flexors.
As you go through any motion, your muscles should become engaged without locking or misaligning your joints. If you aren’t working with a personal trainer, it can help to look up YouTube videos of certain exercises before performing them so that you understand the proper technique and form.
The Long-Term Impacts Of Poor Alignment
The cost of misalignment is, unfortunately, accelerated wear and tear on your body. Additionally, it can result in poor posture and muscle imbalances, which are the opposite of what you want.
Research shows that outward knee alignment increases a person’s risk of developing arthritis. Additionally, poor alignment can lead to decreased range of motion and flexibility, which is the beginning of a slippery slope towards a reduced quality of life, decreased independence, and chronic diseases due to inactivity, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more.