Cover picture of Alex doing push ups so not to killing your gains

Have you challenged your friends by asking how many push ups they can do and they answered with an exaggerated number? If yes, then they are probably cheating. Of course there are athletes who can perform a high number of repetitions with proper from, but this is not so common. In this article we’re showing you why strict form is so important and why cheating is killing your gains!

What you will learn in this article:

Why is strict form so important?

Injury Prevention

Sven showing  a proper pull up so to not killing your gains

Proper form isn’t just about aesthetics, it’s also about safety and longevity. If you perform exercises with low-quality movement patterns you are seven times more likely to be injured!

  • Showing good or bad joint alignment
  • Alex showing proper stabilization

To avoid this risk in the first place, take care of your joint alignment, aim for consistent muscle tension, make sure to stabilize your joints properly. And of course, stop ego lifting and choose a progression of an exercise that you can do with good form or a weight that you can actually lift properly.

Muscle Growth

  • Push up correct form
  • Muscles trained with push up

Reaching a more stretched position in an exercise by using a full range of motion will cause more muscle growth in many exercises! A great example for that are Push Ups: If your main target is to grow your chest you need that stretch in the bottom position to contract the muscle fibers at a greater length.

Performance & strength

Sven performing a correct pull up

If you only perform half of the movement your muscles will stay weak in the neglected part. Therefore, training through a full range leads to greater strength at all angles of a joint’s movement.

For every rule there is an exception

First exception: Good form does not equal perfection

Difference between perfect form and justifiable form for not killing your gains.

Especially as a beginner it’s quite normal that your form looks anything but perfect, because you first have to learn the exercises. The more experience you get the better your form will look, but only if you make sure to better yourself over time. Besides that: Perfection is even not always possible for experienced athletes. Especially when you go all out in a set, it’s totally clear that the last rep will not like the first ones.

Second exception: Limited ROM can be necessary

Limited ROM can be necessary for several reasons. For example: If you’re deal with an current or even an old injury, motion may be limited by a mechanical problem within the joint, swelling of tissue around the joint, spasticity of the muscles, pain or disease.

  • Alex showing not a correct form.
  • Alex showing a correct form

Of course ROM can also be limited without being related to injury. For example: many people can’t do a proper deep Squat because they are simply not mobile or flexible enough. So in that case it’s ok to work with your current range of motion, as long as you try to improve it through additional mobility and flexibility training.

How to understand if your are doing a good rep and not killing your gains

In other cases it can be necessary to sacrifice ROM for hypertrophy. A good example for that are Pull Ups because you will automatically lose a bit of pulling height once you approach the point of failure. So if you stop your set right after you can’t reach the same height as in your first pull ups anymore, you would miss out on a lot of reps that are necessary for muscle growth. 

Watch the video to learn how to train with the correct form and stop killing your gains

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