Building on my Boot Camp blog, which focuses on the importance of proper form and alignment, I need to address an all too common gym blunder...funky form on cardio equipment! It is imperative that you focus on the correct positions when running, biking, stair-climbing, etc. I know I am repeating myself, but I will say it again... Proper form and alignment while working out is essential to gaining strength and looking and feeling great. If you repeat exercises with improper form, you are actually intensifying your imbalances and dysfunctions, causing more harm than good, increasing your chances of injury. I will drill this into my clients again and again. Exercise is not about a quick fix, it is about taking the time to know your body, move correctly, and improve your health for the long haul!
Does the above stair climber pic look familiar? I hope it's not you! If you are incapable of standing up straight and lightly gripping the support bars, then you are exceeding your physical limits and gaining little from your workout. Only push yourself to the point where you can still maintain a strong, upright position.
Always be conscious of what your body parts are doing. See the pic above? The legs have gone lazy and fallen to the side, which means the incorrect muscles are being targeted. Are you truly focused, or are you paying more attention to a book or watching TV? The more focused you are on your workout, the more positive rewards you will receive...and THAT will keep you motivated to keep coming back for more!