The importance of proper form and technique in strength training. Discover how focusing on proper form and technique can help you get the most out of your workouts and minimise your risk of injury, especially in high-impact sports like rugby.
Maximising your strength gains is not just about lifting heavier weights - it's also about using proper form and technique. In this post, we'll be discussing the importance of proper form and technique in strength training, and how it can help you get the most out of your workouts. Lifting with correct form is essential, especially if you want a long lasting lifting/playing career. Read on to learn more!
When you use proper form and technique, you are able to target the specific muscle groups that you are trying to work and effectively stimulate muscle growth. Consider the working muscle as you perform the movement, feel the stretch and contraction. On the other hand, if you use poor form and technique, you may be putting unnecessary strain on your joints and other structures, which can lead to injuries and inhibit your progress. This is extremely common with bench pressing and should issues. A lot of people lift on the bench press with flared elbows which causes more strain on the joint and most people put too much weight on too quickly trying to impress there peers and end up lifting it with poor form again causing issues.
Here are some tips for maintaining proper form and technique when strength training, particularly for rugby players:
1. Start with a weight that you can handle comfortably: This is extremely important, especially when learning a new exercise. This will allow you to focus on proper form and technique and gradually build up to heavier weights as you become stronger. Do not rush this process.
2. Use a full range of motion: Using a full range of motion is crucial for maximising muscle activation and strength gains. For example, when performing a squat, make sure to lower yourself down until your upper legs are parallel to the ground or around 90 degrees, for athletic transfer you don’t need to go all the way down, you can use a bench as a guide to squat to. When performing a bench press, make sure to lower the bar to your chest and fully extend your arms. If you already have shoulder issues you can use a block on your chest to reduce the range slightly.
3. Keep your core engaged: Your core plays a crucial role in maintaining proper form and technique, especially in high-impact sports like rugby. When lifting in the gym (especially on big compound lifts) be sure to engage your core fully. Your core is your base or foundation if you like for all lifts.
4. Focus on proper breathing: Proper breathing is important for maintaining good form, especially when lifting heavy weights. Exhale on the exertion phase (when you are lifting the weight) and inhale on the relaxation phase (when you are lowering the weight). This will help you maintain not only a good rhythm but your stability and pressure in your core will be high in the lifting phase when you have a full intake of breath. This is the best way to brace your core for lifting!
By following these tips and focusing on proper form and technique, you can get the most out of your strength training workouts and minimise your risk of injury. So next time you hit the gym or the field, make sure to focus on proper form and technique to help you reach your strength and performance goals. Don’t be in a rush to increase your weights too quickly. I would say that’s the biggest downfall of most!
Here you will find a collection of articles all about strength training. How to get stronger, types of training, reps and set as well as training volumes.more info
How to Design a Strength Training Program for Your Sport
The Role of Strength Training in Injury Prevention for Athletes
5 Essential Strength Training Exercises for Improved Athletic Performance
How to Design an Upper Body Session
Fitness - How do I get fit for rugby?
Strength & Power - How & why for rugby players?
here are some of most asked questions
We hope these help with any questions that you may have. If these don't answer yours in particular then feel free to reach out on Instagram or via email, we are here to help.
Is there just weight lifting programmes?
As well as our comprehensive Strength and Conditioning programmes we also have sprint sessions, conditioning sessions both on pitch and off feet, home workouts with minimal kit if you’re on holiday or don’t have access to your gym for whatever reason. As well as those we have recovery sessions that consist of Yoga class which are run by one of the best in the game Alecs Donovan and Mobility class again by an industry leader Richard Hughes. The recovery classes are scheduled in some programme but they are available to all members to use any time and we recommend you do so for longevity and to avoid injury.
How many days a week do I have to train?
The rugby programmes run in either 4 or 5 day options for weights with other sessions available such as conditioning and running drills. The Body Comp programmes are available in 3, 4 or 5 day options. Pick whichever suits you and your lifestyle better, you’re better off picking 3 days a week and hitting all of those sessions consistently then picking 5 and missing 1-2 a week as the training splits will ensure you’re hitting each area the right amount across the week.
Who wrote the programmes?
The programmes were initially written by Sam and Josh. The majority of Sams Strength and Conditioning knowledge stems from Chris Tombs who was his coach at the Cardiff Blues Academy and into his professional career. Since Chris came on board as head coach at the start of 2022 we have rewritten or altered all of the programmes so they’re at the absolute fore front of Chris’ ever evolving knowledge.
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