Why You Don't Need “Perfect” Form
For most individuals you don’t need perfect technique in order to get the results that you’re after. This does not mean that technique isn’t supremely important when it comes to your lifting. So what does that mean? Well, technique is invaluable, but sometimes some of us get too caught up in the technique and if you want to make progress you need to accept that your form will likely break down when you lift at maximal weights.
Best case scenario for a lifter that is trying to maximize the amount they lift and look the best they can, is that they learnt proper technique/form from an experienced lifter from the very start of the lifting journey and continue to practice that to remain injury free. Sadly that’s just not reality. Most of us learn as we go, we learn from others at the gym, from websites and our form might just not be that good and we have formed some not so desired tendencies/flaws in our technique and lifts. These are things like our hips shooting up in a squat or elbow flare in the bench. A lot of us have these issues and honestly it’s just natural.
To what level are these important or not? Honestly, if your technique is good enough, the point where you aren’t getting injured, your tendons and ligaments aren’t the sore parts the day after a lift, then you should be alright. The emphasis on technique should always be there and there is a difference between the theory and practice of that. Good technique not only ensures the proper requirement of the intended muscle groups for that exercise but also maximizes the load on those muscles, increasing their potential strength.
Good technique will shorten the amount of time for you to get stronger. Why? Use the deadlift as an example. If you are leaning over the bar from the get go, too far forward, you’re just automatically bleeding power, right from the setup. It’ll make your lockout harder, pushing those hips away from the bar thus making it harder toget the proper hip extension. This improper technique limits your strength and increases your risk of injury.
As imperfect lifters we will likely notice form breakdowns at those high loads. We combat this form breakdown by implementing heavy singles work to acclimate your body to these loads while focusing on the best technique you can at that level. Its not going to be perfect but just focus on what you think can be improved on. Don't stick to the lower weights we see so often just to perfect your form. It is going to be beneficial to also form correct at those points where you start to see the form breakdown in addition to that low weight where everyone can maintain good form.
As we have said before, there is not ONE right way to perform a lift. There are tons of different factors that go into technique for a lift and different factors based on you, specifically, as a lifter. Everyone can improve and most people don't need perfect form to get to their goals but we just want to stress to be aware of your form and aim to improve. Do not get stuck on perfection.