Without a doubt, the reason most people come to the gym is to look better without clothes on. There is nothing wrong with that in my mind but as a fitness professional my goal is to get people to move and feel better in the process. Here are 4 quick tips that all you Superheroes can take into your next training sessions to instantly move and feel better while you train...
1. Inhale During Row/Pull-up Variations.
This might sound different to a lot of you, but let me explain. We were all taught to exhale on the concentric (contraction resulting from a shortening of the muscle) part of a lift. This isn’t inherently wrong by any means, but I think inhaling during row and pull-up/pulldown variations has some added benefits. Most of the clients that we work with tend have issues getting extension of their upper back because of the positions we put ourselves in while sitting all day. What inhaling creates is a moment of extension through the upper back that puts our body in a more advantageous position to use the muscles of our back more effectively.
2. Learn to Posteriorly Tilt your Shoulder Blades.
Most people think that prone trap raises and wall slides with lift off are the dumbest exercises in the world, but they teach us an important part of keeping the shoulders healthy. If you look like Mr. Burns and try to take your hands overhead you might be running into some issues. Getting the shoulder blades to move back and slightly down towards the middle of your spine as you reach overhead will clear up some space for the shoulder joint to move. Learning to move your shoulders in this manner can alleviate some of the pain and discomfort that you may experience from time to time.
3. Do not spill your guts when reaching overhead
This is one of my favorite cues to gets people to understand that they need to maintain a good core position. There are many people that will flare their ribs (area below the chest) as they reach overhead because a) they don’t have enough range of motion to get there, or b) they don’t know how to create good stiffness of the abdomen to control what is going on up front. Repositioning the pelvis will help create a more effective brace on the front side (the abs). After establishing good position of the pelvis and core, we can then take our hands overhead without the other compensations that may occur.
4. Lead with your chest in a push up
This is a very easy fix. I see a lot of people who lead the push up with their chin or nose. If we are in a bad head position from the beginning we see some weird things that happen from the neck all of the way down to your hips. “Imagine the floor smells like poop.” If the floor smells like poop, you will always try to keep your nose and chin away from the floor. The only thing that you can lead with now is the chest. If you lead with the chest, things will fall into place.
Train Hard, Train Smart, Look Great Naked!!!