T Nation

Is Doing What Works the Only Thing that Counts?

I’ve have been doing some thinking lately about the idea that if you feel good during and after the exercise then it is most likely good for you and won’t hurt you even if its an exercise such as the lat pulldown behind the neck variation which has been said to cause shoulder problems in the long run.

However, if this is true then why does perfecting one’s form any given exercise matter at all to an athlete or trainee as long as that person is not only making progress in strength, endurance, or flexibility gains, but also feels no pain, feeling of joint instability, or any other abnormal sensations during or after a given exercise. For example, if you feel good during and after doing squats and even seem to be making progress in strength, endurance, flexibility even though your back rounds throughout the entire range of motion of the squat then why does it matter that your back rounds during the squat exercise if it seems to be working out for you?

Improper form wouldn’t matter if it didn’t lead to injury. Usually, however, over a long enough period of time, improper form leads to injury. Some people are lucky and don’t get injured, but they are the exception, not the rule.

One example is forward head posture. When you are middle-aged, you may not think your forward head posture is causing you any pain at all, so there is no reason to to change it. When you get into your 60’s and 70’s, you see how big an effect it can have, from decreasing your ability to reach overhead, to compression of cervical nerves, to low back pain, and even swallowing dysfunction.

People who consistently round their low back during every workout, not just meets, will eventually pay the price.

Yeah, but then why do strength and conditioning experts like Ross and Elliot Hulse say that whatever they themselves say to anyone doesn’t matter because whatever they say to anyone is really just advice? I mean if that’s true then when a coach or trainer says something like you need to have a natural arch in your back every times you squat then couldn’t you consider that as just a piece of advice and that you don’t have to necessarily agree to it?

Ross and Elliot Hulse are probably just being modest.