Well its that time of year again where we reflect on what we’ve maybe done or not as the case maybe. I really want to share just 3 simple things that I learned this year that have really made a difference in my training. They’re quite simple and easy for you to incorporate into your routine.
The first starts with the set up for nearly all exercises, especially the squat, bench and deadlift. Now its not fancy and not at all revolutionary but this has made a really big difference in getting me in the zone. I want you to think about what foot you put forward when approaching the deadlift, how many steps you take out of the rack for a squat and even what process you use to create an arch for the bench press. Just thinking about them, refining them, should help you develop the skill of lifting and hopefully make you stronger and safer.
Second I want to talk about the deadlift. One fundamental thing that I have been working on is ‘taking the slack’ from the bar before lifting. Now it may seem obvious to some readers but its not to many, including myself.
But what do I mean by taking the slack?
As you’re standing over the bar, about to deadlift, you want to grip the bar as you would. But rather than lowering yourself down in a loose fashion, I want you to pull yourself down into the ‘flat back’ position. You will essentially bend the bar just very slightly, getting your lats really tight and increasing pressure through the floor.
The last one is for the squat.
You’ll maybe hear a lot of trainers telling their clients to keep their knees out during the squat. This isn’t necessarily wrong and its most certainly something I’ve taught clients to do but I think there is a better way. First of all we want the knees to track through your toes to ensure your glutes are doing what they should be and to make space for your hips at the bottom.
From now on I would like you to try and screw your feet to the floor.
As you lower, turn your feet so you are gripping the floor. Do the same on the way up. This seems to make a big difference when trying to keep ‘tight’ during the lift. Don’t let your feet move, they should simply feel like they’re gripping the floor.
Now all of these aren’t by any means set in stone. I’m sure there are many small modifications that can be made to each and every lift but these are but a few that I think were extremely helpful this year.
It would be great to hear how you got on so drop me a message over on Facebook if you have anymore questions at all.