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  • Writer's pictureJesse Lewis

Ditch the Quest for Perfect Form: Move With Confidence and Listen to Your Body

Updated: Mar 20



Ever feel overwhelmed by the endless rules surrounding proper squat form, perfect pushup form, or the elusive best deadlift form? You're not alone. The internet bombards us with dos and don'ts for every exercise, but what if the quest for "perfect" form is actually hindering your progress?


This guide dives deep into the myth of perfect exercise form, exploring why there's no one-size-fits-all approach for exercises like squats, deadlifts, and pushups. We'll show you how prioritizing how the movement feels over achieving rigid form can unlock better results, reduce the risk of pain (especially in squats!), and make your workouts more enjoyable.


Why "Perfect" Squat Form Doesn't Exist


Imagine a gym full of people performing identical squats. Unrealistic, right? Because our bodies are built differently! Anatomy, mobility, and even injury history all influence how squats feel and look for each individual.


Some people find comfort in a narrow stance, while others prefer a wider one. Slight knee cave-in during a squat? For some bodies, it's perfectly normal and pain-free. The key is to find a squat variation that allows for a full range of motion without discomfort, especially if you're experiencing squatting without knee pain.


Focus on Function, Not Form, When Doing Deadlifts


The deadlift is another battleground for form debates. Conventional wisdom dictates a perfectly neutral spine, but research shows some rounding is natural and unavoidable for most. Like squats, prioritize feeling comfortable with the deadlift movement over achieving a rigid, potentially unnatural position. As long as you're pain-free and following a structured training program, a slight back rounding during deadlifts is generally acceptable.


Pushups: A Spectrum of "Correct" Form


Pushups are a seemingly simple exercise with surprising variations. Wide hand placement or narrow grip for correct pushup form? Elbows tucked or flared? There's no single "best" form; it boils down to personal preference and what feels most natural.


There are various schools of thought when it comes to the “perfect” pushup, whether it may be “elbows in” or “elbows out” or other forms.  The truth is, do what feels good for you! It’s all about applying the right technique that’s appropriate for you.  The focus must be on your body and how it feels.


The Dangers of Form Obsession: It's Not Just About Squats!


The relentless pursuit of perfect form can backfire spectacularly, whether in squats, deadlifts, or pushups. People get fixated on nitpicking minor details, losing sight of the bigger picture and, ultimately, the joy of exercise. This hyperfocus can lead to frustration, inadequacy, and even injury.


Imagine someone pushing through pain to achieve a "perfect" squat form, potentially exacerbating an existing knee injury. Our bodies are incredibly adaptable, but they also communicate their limits. Listening to those signals is vital for safe and effective exercise, especially when exercises like squats can put stress on the knees.


Embrace Movement, Respect Your Body (and Ditch the Quest for Perfect Form)


The human body thrives on movement diversity. What works for one person might not be ideal for the next, especially when it comes to squats, deadlifts, and pushups. It's time to ditch the one-size-fits-all mentality and embrace the beauty of individual movement patterns.

Focus on moving with intention, mindfulness, and respect for your body's unique needs. Prioritize feeling good over achieving a picture-perfect form that might not be achievable or sustainable for you, especially if it leads to pain while squatting.


Move with Confidence: It's All About You (and How Your Body Feels)


The next time you find yourself stressing about proper squat form, perfect pushup form, or the best deadlift form, take a deep breath and remember: there's no such thing. Embrace the individuality in movement, listen to your body, and trust yourself to move in a way that feels good and gets results.


Need Help Refining Your Squat, Deadlift, or Pushup Form?


If you're unsure whether your form is contributing to pain or simply want some expert advice on squats, deadlifts, or pushups, a qualified professional can provide valuable guidance.



Contact us today at info@districtperformancephysio.com or contact us here and let our team help you develop a personalized exercise program that works for your unique body and movement patterns!



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