As coaches we take our clients through workouts every day. During our sessions we coach with hopes that they not only work hard to get stronger but more importantly complete their exercises with the best form possible to avoid injury. Recently I’ve been wondering if there comes a time when precise form is not always the desired goal.
If you take the simple squat exercise, you can have 10 people perform it and end up with at least 4 to 5 slight variations in its execution. Does that mean that only one of the clients was right and should be allowed to squat? The answer is of course they should all be allowed to squat so long as there is no pain associated with doing so.
The problem comes in when we as coaches get so caught up with perfecting the form of a certain exercise that we overlook the benefit of getting it done in just a slightly different manner. Don’t get me wrong, there are just some exercises that we have to get incredibly technical with (ie. kettlebell swings) because even the slightest deviation from above average form could mean disaster for a client’s back. Like I always say, “You can’t unhurt someone.”
At the end of the day we have been and will continue to coach our clients to give their best at all times and that means keeping their form as tight as possible. At the same time, we do recognize that as humans we are all made a little differently and we will move in ways that are the most efficient for us.