If you watch any sport at an elite level you will still observe technical imperfections among athletes. You might imagine that while watching a world powerlifting championships, you would see the best level of technical perfection in the squat, bench press and deadlift as these are the three lifts that a powerlifter would be training to compete in. This is not the case, some of the best lifters in the world have far from perfect technique and yet they still succeed in their sport. The same situation applies in every other sport. A lot of this is determined by training techniques, different styles and approaches and of course individual genetics. Does this mean that we should use this as an excuse to ignore good form and technique in our own training? Of course not, there are always the genetically gifted athletes who are suited to a particular exercise or sport who will get away with “poor” technique and perhaps will not get injured. For the majority this is not the case as we all have our own individual genetic make-up and physical structure to consider. It may be a bad idea to try to copy the exact technique of a high level athlete when training in the same sport, even f they have great technique, as you must always consider the physical differences between you and another athlete. A technique which works well for one person may even cause injury in the next person who copies. A simple example of this would be squatting stance, if you consider the genetic differences in hip structure between people, a person whose hips are well structured for close deep squats may suffer negatively from squatting in a very wide stance or vice versa.
True exercise mastery even in an exercise as basic as the squat can take decades, yet if we were all expected to reach such levels of perfection in everything before progressing to more complex levels of skilled movements then we would never get anywhere towards reaching our training or athletic goals. The key is to understand what is theoretically “perfect” and at least aim for a high standard that is going to be safe and effective. Unless you are extremely lucky and happen to be gifted in a sport or exercise, it is ideal to spend more time as a beginner learning good form and technique in your training before attempting to push yourself hard. Ignoring technique is likely to end in some form of injury down the line which could have been avoided if more attention to technique with given in the beginning.
In summary it is essential to appreciate an ideal level of perfection when it comes to technique, but the bigger picture needs to be considered. It shouldn’t however serve as an excuse ignore mistakes that are highlighting significant imbalances in the body, as this will lead you on the road to injury and diminished results. Identifying your weaknesses and working harder on them will help you to improve you technique in training and sport and should lower your risk of injury. If you feel you have identified a weakness and are either struggling to improve upon it or are not sure even how to begin addressing it, then seek help from a qualified healthcare therapist who is familiar with training so they can help find things that you may have overlooked.
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