Why Do You Need Form Validation Videos
It takes time to learn how to use the elevator. Whether you are honing deadlifts or trying to learn the snatch, videos can help you understand where you are on the path. After a few weeks or months, you will want to better record how you studied, so remove the tripod.
When you are videotaping your exercises, you might want to ask a coach or trusted friend to criticize your form. You can also watch your videos to see how much you’ve improved, which can be very motivating when you feel like you’re not making much progress. Here’s how to get the most out of your video:
Make a good video first
First, think about what angle you are shooting your video from. It’s tempting to just lean your phone against a bottle of water because you’re embarrassed to show the whole gym that you are filming yourself, but the videos you get won’t be very helpful.
So grab a foldable tripod – my model is similar to this one – and put it in your gym bag or pocket. Or, if you have a buddy at the gym who wants to film you, that might work, too.
The ideal angle can vary depending on the lift, and if you are sending a video to a coach be sure to ask which one he prefers. But in general, a good foreshortening will do the following:
- Show your entire body from head to toe, even if it’s just an upper body lift.
- Stay about hip height so the camera isn’t looking up or down at you (this is especially helpful when gauging depth when squatting).
- Show at a 3/4 angle, neither forehead nor straight from the side.
- Show barbell weights if possible.
A side view often seems like a good idea, but the dumbbells themselves (for example, in the deadlift) tend to obscure your view of your body position. If you want a specific angle like this, do it in addition to the 3/4 view, not instead.
Crop the video immediately after typing. Either way, you wait a few minutes between sets , so just open the video, hit Edit, and drag the edges of the clip so you don’t waste time setting up your camera and adjusting the strap.
Think about who you are showing them to.
When you first want to share form validation videos, you might be tempted to send them to all your friends or post them in a group or forum for feedback. But not every good athlete is a great coach , and even if you get good advice, different people may disagree on what you should work on first.
Instead, pick someone you think is good at judging and training exercises and send the video to that person only. And if you’re only posting videos for general viewing – let’s say on Insta – keep in mind that there are people out there who can advise. Unless they are your predetermined trusted friend or coach … ignore them.
What can you learn besides technique
I use videos during my workouts, especially when my coach is not around, just to test how I try to avoid bad habits. I am not waiting for a new revelation about my form; I just use these videos to remind myself what to focus on. For example, if I warm up before jerking and see my legs bouncing on each rep, I do multiple sets, pretending to have my feet glued to the floor.
It’s also nice to notice when you’re doing something right . Form validation is not always about catching errors; they can also help you see strengths and notice how much more consistent you are in correcting your mistakes. I always pay attention to whether I am filming the rise and getting PR, or if my coach says: “Good reputation!” I love these videos and try to take a moment to think about what made this climb a success. Not only what happened during the ascent, but how did I prepare for it? What lines did I first think about?
What to do with all these videos
You don’t need to save every form validation video, but it’s nice to have a small archive. I used to organize my workouts around workouts, but it got a little cumbersome.
Instead, arrange them by elevator. I have albums for the bench press, squat, deadlift, snatch, clean and jerk, and every unusual lift I’ve spent a lot of time on technique.
Sometimes progress seems slow, but it’s nice to be able to go back and say: how did my exercises look six months ago? A year ago? If your videos show barbell weights clearly, you may see the weights grow over time, or you will see that you used to fight 200lbs and now you do it smoothly.
I’m also interested in looking at all the details in the video. What shoes were you wearing? Did you start wearing a belt or did it come later? What gym did you work out in? And hey … do you have bigger shoulders?
If you’ve been doing weightlifting for a while, you’ve probably made a lot of progress in one way or another. Take a moment to collect and organize your videos, and give yourself a chance to gauge how far you’ve come.