May 11, 2016 by Bronson Dant
“Put your shoulders back.” “Sit back in your heels.” “Tighten your abs and pull your rib cage down.” “Make sure you stretch.”
You hear us say these things all the time. Why do we say this stuff? Why do we care if you press the bar to full extension over your head? What difference does it make if you bring your hip crease below your knees when you squat?
First and foremost is safety. Every movement and exercise we do has specific movement patterns and techniques for performance. They are designed to allow high levels of performance with the least amount of risk to the body as possible. Any variation to the prescribed body positions, a range of motion and movement pattern, increases the risk of injury. This could happen immediately or over time if the incorrect movement pattern isn’t fixed.
Along with being safer, proper movement allows you to conserve energy while you work. Using correct biomechanics puts your body in positions to naturally support itself and transfer power from body part to body part without you having to do extra work. Maintaining correct movement patterns and positioning activates the specific muscles that each exercise is intended to target. This leads us to the next reason movement is important.
This is a big one folks. Without proper movement, your growth will stop. If you are working to get a better deadlift but you don’t learn how to use the Hip Hinge then your back will do all the work. You won’t see a better deadlift because the muscles, the deadlift are intended to develop, aren’t being used. Proper movement is the single most important building block for improving your fitness. It doesn’t matter how fast or strong you are. Improper movement and not using a full range of motion will halt your progress if it’s not addressed.
Without a set of defined movement criteria for each exercise, it is impossible to gauge progress. If all we had to do was come in and pick up a barbell off the floor without any guidelines on how to do it, there would be no need for coaches or any training methodology. There would be no reason to set goals or push ourselves to improve. It’s is our job to train your mind and bodies to perform better. We use the movement standards to accomplish that.
Doing it right. It’s a great feeling when you figure something out and are able to execute it consistently. Being able to get a full range of motion, and perform movements properly gives a sense of freedom and accomplishment that few people are able to experience.
It is possible to improve your range of motion and ability to get in proper positions! In many cases just focusing on improving this part of your fitness will cause you to make ginormous (it’s a word now) gains in your ability to lift heavy and do more. There are many things you can do on your own to work on this. We have all sorts of equipment you can use at the gym to help. Ask a coach the next time you are in the gym and we will help get you started.