It’s all about the form!

It’s all about the form!

by Coach Judie

If you’ve ever spent time in our Masters Swimming programs, you know how much time we spend working on form in the pool, drilling in good technique to make your swim faster.  Good form isn’t just for swimming, though, it’s for everything you do as an athlete and extends even into your regular non-athlete life.

“But wait a minute,” you say, “I’ve been running since I was 2 and riding a bike since I was 6.  What’s to know?”

Just like swimming, there is such a thing as proper form for cycling and running.  Form is also crucial to strength training.  Good form will actually reduce your risk of injury, as proper form is based in good biomechanics. 

How you hold and lift weights, besides protecting your joints, can also maximize the benefit from your strength training or reduce the effectiveness of the movement.  Where your feet land when you run can make the difference between repeated jarring impact to your knees, hips, and lower back or a smooth and elastic stride with almost no impact at all.  Where your body touches your bike and the position of your limbs relative to your hips can deliver a powerful and efficient pedal stroke or an uncomfortable ride that you just can’t wait to finish.  And because water is hundreds of times more dense than air, form deficiencies in the pool can be more significant than they would seem to be, whether it’s the position of your head, how your hand enters the water, or how wide your kick is.

The off-season is a great time to practice good form while you aren’t focusing on speed and race prep.  The dreaded treadmill, the bike trainer, and the lap pool are great tools for controlling your environment to work on form.  If you need help improving your form, you have resources right here at your fingertips–let us know if we can help you get faster!

Judie Refvik is a USA Certified Triathlon Coach with Experience Triathlon Coaching Services.   As leaders in the endurance coaching industry, Coach Judie and the Experience Triathlon coaching team help athletes of all ages and abilities achieve success in training, racing and life.  Learn more about Coach Judie and Experience Triathlon at www.experiencetriathlon.com and www.ET-Youth.com.

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  • Thanks Coach for reminding us of the value of off-season training and what our focus should be.  I’m looking forward to all the winter workouts and fun with Team ET. 🙂

  • Drew Repoza

    I think it would be cool if we could set up video and a treadmill to do run form/gait analysis.  Excellent story, Coach Judie!

    • Laura Cabage

      Drew, I TOTALLY agree and would value this feedback!

  • Jim Riga

    Thanks for the very timely reminder Coach Judie on how the off season can prepare us for next years race season and prevent injury at the same time.

  • Laura Cabage

    I’m all in for anything that will reduce risk of injury (as I ice my aching knee:), and you are so right that good form is a big part! Thanks for the article, Coach Judie!

  • Jeff P

    Of course I am reading this as I slouch in my computer chair…made me sit up properly 🙂
    Thanks for the article, Judie! Here’s to a fun filled off season of workouts!