Hello. Just a quick one today. I was in the gym yesterday with my wife and one of her friends, leading them through a workout and giving them some cues when I found myself repeating something I have been saying for years, “There are a few form notes that can be applied to nearly every exercise.” I know it’s not the catchiest saying, but it is very true and it can take some of the intimidation out of weight training.
I’ll list a few of them here:
1. Look up.
OK. Really you want to look straight ahead, maybe only slightly upward, but what happens, especially with people without a lot of experience is, when they think, “Look straight ahead,” they look down, and when they think, “Look up,” they look straight ahead. This applies to any exercise where you in an upright position. Squats, lat pulldown, overhead press, etc.
2. Shoulders down and back.
Really, think shoulder blades down and back. When your shoulder blades are down and back it keeps your shoulder in a safe supported position. When they aren’t, they can be very vulnerable when bench pressing as an example. Also, in the case of a lat pulldown, pulling your shoulders down and back brings the bar right to your collarbone where it should be, not down to your belly, like you see so many people do it.
3. Chest up.
Breathe into your chest and keep it up. This keeps your back in good alignment and prevents you from hunching over. This applies for every exercise under the sun. At least any that I can think of. When you combine this tip with tip number one your back will be in perfect position.
There’s a few things. I know there are more and as I remember them I’ll write them down and post them. Feel free to send me a few if you come up with any. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or just put them in the comments section.
Also a few other things that are pretty universal:
1. Activate your glutes and move your hips.
We sit all day and as a result our hips are super tight and our glutes are super dead. Do lying hip extensions and lunges to help.
Here are some videos to help. You don’t need a band around your knees, and the key is to squeeze your butt to raise your hips. Don’t just bring your hips up. When you squeeze, your body will automatically get into the right position. You should be in a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
Anyway, that’ll do it for today. If you have any thoughts or questions, let me know. Also, if you are, or know anyone,who is need of a trainer, drop me a line. Talk to you soon.