If I do it that way I won’t lift as much

If I asked you to sit at your desk with perfect posture all day long, could you do it? How often would you find yourself slouched down or hunched over in your chair? It’s not easy to sit with correct posture. It’s easy to slouch and be relaxed when we sit for a long time.

Back pain, shoulder discomfort, necks locking up, and all kinds of other issues plague many people because “easier” is a way of life. Chiropractors and Physical therapists make fortunes off of “easier”. How do we get better? How do we combat the epidemic of poor position in today’s society?

There are 5 reasons we enforce proper technique at Ellicott City Health and Fitness

  • Function – The body is very exact when it comes to the best way to move. There are many ways a person can make their body do something. Pain and injury are the body’s way of identifying when it’s trying to do something it wasn’t meant to do.
  • Efficiency – With proper movement comes efficient movement. When you move properly, you spend less energy.
  • Performance – Spending less energy means you can do more with the energy you have.
  • Longevity – Moving properly allows the body’s systems to last longer, energy is more enduring, and recovery is much faster
  • Transfer – Movement is universal. If you learn to move properly in one movement pattern then you can use that same pattern in other activities.

James the accountant is deadlifting the other day and he is trying to get his max weight for a single rep. I see that his back is rounded……..

I tell him that he needs to straighten it out and do the lift properly…..

Here’s the problem, James can’t lift half the weight he’s used to when he gets in the correct position. In his eyes, he is performing under his ability when this happens. He wants the big number on the board and is more concerned with being able to say what he did than how he did it.

If James doesn’t listen to my coaching, 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years from now James is not able to get out of bed, needs medications to function day to day and has appointments scheduled to get his back operated on.

Is the correct form safe but less effective? Am I trying to limit his lifting potential? If the goal is to lift heavy then why does it matter what position his body is in when he lifts?

“Proper form” is not a misnomer. Technique is the best mechanical, economical, and effective way to move the weight. The goal is NOT to just lift heavy. The goal IS to develop sound technique that when applied will allow you to lift heavy for longer, safely.

Most people do not have good solid movement patterns. When their body is put into a stressful situation, they revert to the easiest way to move instead of the best way to move.

Learning to move correctly under a load is a lesson in patience. James may have come into the gym with 500lbs deadlift. While he is learning to correct his movement he may be limited to a 300lbs deadlift. This can be very, very frustrating.

What James needs to understand, is that as long as he maintains consistency in developing his technique he will be able to increase his intensity and eventually he will surpass what he thought his previous upper limit was.

Performing an exercise correctly does not make the effort easy. It increases the level of performance, i.e. you get more out of the work you do. Proper execution of a movement decreases the likelihood of injury.

If you want to get better at something, do it correctly before you do it heavy.

Technique → Consistency → Intensity

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