Technique fix tip: Shoulder packingThink of drawing your

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Most trainees like to think they’re killing it in the gym, but many are not as effective as they could be. One major component that determines your success is how you execute each rep. Exercise technique is also a big factor that can influence your injury risk, but most important, it will determine if all your hard work results in you looking like Thor or Zach Galifianakis. Whether your goals are to be as strong as Captain America, built like Thor, or to jump like the Hulk, your technique needs to be close to perfect.Increase your effectiveness in the gym by putting your technique to the test with these four tips.Technique test 1: Squat patternThe barbell back squat is traditionally seen as a “basic” lift; however, it is commonly performed incorrectly.Common problems:Insufficient depthRounded backValgus (inward) knee collapseTechnique fix tip: The goblet squatHold a dumbbell in front of your chest lengthwise with your elbows pointing downwardSit in between your feet while keeping your chest up/outSquat ass-to-grass with your hip-crease below your knee-creaseFinish with your elbows on the inside of your thighsAllow your torso to lean forward slightly to maintain balance over your mid-footDo not allow your back to round forward—stay tight and strong in your core throughout the exercise.Over several weeks, progress to the heaviest dumbbell you can find. Not only is this challenging, but, also, banging out perfect goblet squats with 125lbs is pretty badass. The motor patterns, mobility, and stability you’ll develop will set you up for wicked front and high-bar back squats.Technique test 2: Hip hinge patternThis movement pattern is essential for performing perfect deadlifts, Olympic lifts, and Russian kettlebell swings. For optimal utilization of the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings wholesale nike air max shoes , back extensors), the hip hinge with zero back flexion/extension is imperative to improve athletic potential.Technique fix tip: Standing hip hinge drillStand with your feet 8-10” apartPlace one hand on your low back and one on your stomachSlightly bend your kneesPush your hips back, back, back while you bow forward—you should feel tension in your hamstrings as you reach 90° at your hipsUse your hands to feel if your back starts to roundStay long and tight in your core and keep your chest out.Learn and own this movement. Apply it to your training. Don’t worry if you have to sacrifice a bit of weight to perform a perfect hip hinge. Your strength will build fast. Being able to move through the hips will develop strong glutes and hamstrings, while sparing the spine and knees.Technique test 3: Shoulder packPacking the shoulder is a term coined by Grey Cook in his Secrets of the Shoulder DVD. This cue is essential for all upper-body exercises and shoulder health. Optimal pressing and pulling movements begin with a strong foundation: the shoulder. Pressing with a “loose” shoulder joint is like firing a canon out of a canoe. When packing the shoulders, the shoulders are pulled into the body, toward the opposite hip pockets. Not only will this improve shoulder and scapular stability, it will prevent poor postural adaptations from bad postural habits/exercise execution. All your lifts will improve with proper shoulder packing, even lower-body lifts.Technique fix tip: Shoulder packingThink of drawing your shoulders toward your opposite hip pockets when pulling in the horizontal (any row variation) or vertical (any lat pull down or chin up variation) directionsCue this shoulder pack when pressing in the horizontal (any bench press variation) or vertical (any overhead press variation) directionsLastly, cue this shoulder pack when doing deadlifts, squats nikeairmaxwr , kettlebell swings, RDLs, and any other lower-body lift.Technique test 4: Neutral spineMost people know that full range of motion situps are old-school, and place high loads/stress to the spine. The neutral spine position is required in EVERY exercise but, unfortunately, most trainees don’t know what it is or can not achieve and maintain it.Technique fix tip: Front plank with pelvic rotationsGo into a basic front plank on your elbows and toesMove through full lumbar hyperflexion and hyperextension by rotating your pelvisSqueeze your glutes and find what feels like a neutral middle position between the two extremes you just moved through. The goal of this drill is to teach the two extremes of WRONG while you achieve the middle, most optimal position. Apply the neutral spine to all your lifts to minimize your injury risk and to keep a healthy back.

4 weightlifting techniques to master

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