Tag Archives: form
“Squats hurt my back.”
Incorrect, what you are doing is hurting your back.
Yep, more often than not, less for previous traumatic injury that has dramatically changed your bodies morphology, it’s your form.
Over the years I have spent many a day tweaking peoples form.
Striving to have them understand the correct movement patterns, what muscles are meant to be doing what and generally simian to avoid them snapping themselves up.
A few learned, many didn’t.
Being humans we have this tiny little thing called bias, which usually marries up with cognitive dissonance quite happily and as such people think they know best and only seek the answers they want.
Morons the lot of them.
98% of the time if something hurts during an exercise/movement it is because our form isn’t right.
As much as we’d like some unexplainable cause to protect our ego it’s just the case that our movement patterns are poor.
How can you overcome this?
Hire a coach to learn from, alternatively record all of your lifts and give them some honest critique because the chances are you know when your own form looks poor.
There you have it, the next time you feel a movement is causing you issue take a step back and look at how you’re performing it because the chances are it’s not the exercises that is hurting you, it’s what you’re doing that’s hurting you.
Correcting form can be tricky at the best of times with a good coach at your side. This becomes even harder when you train alone, but fear not, I will share with you two quick tips to help you improve your own form and iron out any kinks.
Be truthful in your critique of yourself, trust me, it will be a to your advantage to let your ego take a nock on this occasion.
1 – Video Feedback
It’s fair to imagine hat most people have some form of camera or recording device on their phone, meaning that there is always an opportunity to check form and improve.
Heres how to do it yourself –
– Record your lift
– Upload it to your computer
– Go to the interweb and load up YouTube
– Find a high level athlete of similar build/stature to put yours again
– Compare & make notes, assess what YOU can do to improve
– Take heed of your notes and go practice
2 – Slow Down
The use of cadence in lifting is a great way to hone your skill/form. Try doing a 6-1-6-1 tempo (eccentric, pause, concentric, pause) for around 6 reps, start off with say a load of 60% 1RM, if you don’t know yours then work to an RPE of 6/7.
The slower form will force you to adhere together form to keep not only control but also balance. You can also use this technique to really focus on contracting/squeezing the muscles you’re using for maximal pump/MU recruitment.
Form is paramount in not only lifting big weights but also longevity in lifting, never sacrifice it in the gym. Ego is something that needs to be left outside the gym.
When it comes to using barbells the is one factor that they all have in common when it comes to correct execution of the various movements, do you know what it is though?
Standard gym exercises such as the legendary Squat, Bench, Deadlift and Press are staples for the routines of many great lifters and athletic champions, but sometimes repeatedly doing these can leave you with various aches and pains (not to mention bored).
There are lots of different exercises available that still work the same muscles groups, however they add some much needed variety to your training. I will delve in to some of my personal favourites and why they are excellent alternatives to try.
Bored of Back Squat?…. Forget Frustration with Front Squat.
Front Squats are great for building solid legs, a cast iron core and a solid upper thoracic. Aim for 80-85% of your back squat in this movement.
Flat Bench Faltering?…. Intensify with an Incline (Y).
Swapping flat bench for incline will help fill out those pecs, pull out that posture and create some impressive strength gains too. Aim for 70-80% of Flat Bench.
Deadlifting become Dire?…. Develop with Deficits :).
Deficit deadlifts performed with a snatch width grip will help you develop a solid pull from the floor while filling out your upper back and lats with some solid muscle. It’s also great for grip too. If you hit 70% of your regular overhand deadlift you’ve done well.
Over Head getting Overly Hard?…. Banish Niggles with Behind the Neck.
The Behind the neck press requires a decent amount of mobility but it will not only help improve your regular press once you master the movement, it will also hit your shoulders in ways you can’t imagine and build beastly triceps. Once you get good at the movement and develop strong technique try and aim for 80% of your normal press.
Adding any one of all of these exercises in to your routine will help you break through plateaus and progress. My only advice is start light (50% of 1RM) and cement solid form, if you don’t you run the risk of injury.