In class, does form matter?

Yes and no.

In the floorwork and the VertifirmTM segment immediately following it, proper execution of moves is important. This part of the class is designed to tone and strengthen specific muscles, but the intended body benefit is diminished or even lost if a move is done incorrectly. This is why your instructor will sometimes demonstrate a move’s correct form before or after class, and why during routines she cues reminders to position your limbs a certain way, etc.

In some cases, it’s a matter of not just effectiveness, but safety. Hence, during floorwork, you are reminded to keep your head and shoulders lifted during leg slides and take-a-walk, to avoid potential back strain.

Sometimes less is more. For example, your triceps do not benefit if you swing your arms full range forward and back instead of pressing them only half the distance behind your hips. The key word for all VertifirmTM moves is control.

So during this first part of the class, listen carefully to your instructor’s cues, watch her moves closely and try to copy her form. During floorwork, this may mean turning your mat as much as 180 degrees so you can see her.

In the aerobic dances, priority changes. From the Booster to the Cooldown, what matters is not your form but your heart rate. Keep moving, including between dances, to keep it in its target zone. In this cardio part of the class, have fun pretending you’re a star without worrying about your dancing skills. Jacki’s choreography insures a good workout even if you have two left feet.

Stretching––before, during and after class––must be done correctly to be beneficial. Overstretching can cause injury. Ballistic (bouncing) stretches are both potentially damaging and counterproductive. For calf stretches and sporty stretches to be fully effective, correct foot placement is critical.

So, does your form matter? Sometimes!

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