When someone joins our gym after working out on their own or at a different weight room we usually see some surprise/confusion during fundamental sessions. When we teach them the squat or the dead lift we often hear comments like ”Well, I’ve never done it that way before” or “That’s not how I was taught.” In so many cases, these statements are sadly true. We focus on form first then weights or speed. That often is an adjustment for people coming from somewhere like a football weight room or a bootcamp.
I want to focus for now on how we will adjust your posture on these movements. Keeping your core tight has been misconstrued for years by the coaching cues “look where you want to go,” “puff out your chest,” and others like them. If you have heard these before, the coach was likely trying to help you get your back tight. This is definitely a positive thing to work on. However, at Trinity Strength, we have seen these cues can actually cause members to lose tension in the lower back and potentially cause injury down the line.
If you puff out your chest on a squat you will over extend your lower back and end up causing a lot of pressure just above your hips. So the big adjustment comes for athletes when we have them pull their chest down and tighten their abs, something they haven’t focused on before. Sometimes this feels like leaning over more than people are used to, but with correct posture and a tight core your back will thank you in the long run.
It can be a little frustrating to come in, have your form fixed on the back squat and the dead lift, and then proceed to do less weight for a little while. We totally understand! We do this though until we can constantly maintain that technique. In the long run our goal is to keep you safe and eventually with this form you will be able to lift heavier too. Sometimes it feels like you take a few steps back in terms of weight load in order to truly move forward and reach your potential safely. But trust us, it’s worth it!