How important is it to exercise with proper form? It is EXTREMELY important! Exercising with bad form can not only be painful, but can cause some serious damage to the joints and surrounding muscles if you’re not careful. Exercising with bad form can and will decrease the effectiveness of your workout, because you're not fully engaging the muscles.
Exercising should NEVER hurt. Burn? Yes. Hurt? No!
Take a look at the difference between an incorrect squat and a correct squat. Squats are painful for many people, but that is because many people do them incorrectly. If you are performing a squat correctly, all your body weight is in your heels; your knees are directly above your ankles; your hips are behind your heels; and your chest and shoulders are lifted, not rounded.
Now look at the difference between an incorrect deadlift and a correct deadlift. Many people perform a deadlift with their back arched and abdominals relaxed. This is so hard on the back. If you notice your back is hurting more than you can feel the contraction in your hamstrings, the back of the legs, try this: start with all your weight in your heels, legs are straight but not locked, navel is pulled to the spine, shoulder blades are squeezed together, and chest and shoulders are lifted. Tada! Excellent exercise focusing on glutes and hammies.
Remember: exercising should burn, not hurt. After all, we are Fit By Burn – not Fit By Hurt!