"Form Check" (Blog #58)
Go into almost any generic gym across the country and you will see an array of training styles, programs and methods. Many of these are great, in fact, virtually any program that you actually stick to will work. If you dedicate your time and effort into anything, great things can and will happen. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line we have lost the meaning of quality. As you walk through these gyms you will see (or you are the one performing) things that should be banned and outlawed. Everything from Squats on the Bosu Ball to standing lateral oblique crunches holding two plates of equal weight.
Worse yet, is how far we've come from anything that even resembles a proper movement. We have made training into a circus act and it's causing people to get seriously hurt, or being nagged by so many preventable injuries that they quit. The basics need to be mastered and then IF need be, move on to properly progressed movements that will help you on your health and fitness journey.
I spend a large amount of hours at my gym every week, so even I have a "generic" gym membership. I like switching up my routines and it's nice to train in a different environment once in a while. As I blast through my workout, I stay low key but I can't help but notice what's going on around me; especially knowing how much of a stickler I am when it comes to proper movement patterns. If i'm in the gym with thirty people, I'm being liberal if I say five of them move well and aren't endangering themselves.
Most of them I assume just watch what the "biggest" person in the gym is doing and try to copy that, or they watch some youtube videos and copy what they see without actually know why or how to do it correctly. Investing in a knowledgable trainer, even if it's for a month to learn the BASICS should be on the top of any fitness fanatics to do list. So while I decided to try and figure out how to fix this problem of so many "gym zombies," I decided to start doing FORM CHECK videos. They are basically 2 videos in one where I demo the incorrect way (or more dangerous way) and then the other video is proper/safe form. I've gotten so much positive feedback that I will continue to make them until I cover all the basics. Even many of my clients have told me that watching the videos mixed with our coaching at No Bull has really helped them perfect movements. Music to my ears....
So here are some of the "Form Check" videos in no particular order....Enjoy!
Kettle Bell Swings: The video on the Left, I'm Squatting the Swing opposed to Hinging the Swing. This will lead to back pain and shoulder impingement quickly if not fixed.
Barbell Bent Over Rows: The video on the Left, I'm using my hips to gain momentum and inertia to thrust the Barbell up instead of Rowing it with my back muscles.
Barbell Military Press: The video on the Right, I'm not fully upwardly rotating my shoulder blades or fully locking the weight out over head. This is a recipe for shoulder pain when pressing like this - It's vital that the client starts to do a lot of mobility work asap.
TRX Inverted Rows: In the bottom video, I'm flexing my spine and chin poking to try and compensate for weak pulling musculature. By flexing forward I'm trying to shorten the moment arm and shorten the distance that I have to travel to complete each rep.
Split Squats: In the video on the Right, I'm leaning forward due to tight/weak quads/hip flexors and probable weak glutes. This is a sign that the client needs to be scaled down until they get stronger.
Dumbbell Rows: In the bottom video, I'm rotating excessively in the spine to gain the ability to finish each rep. The weight is usually too heavy when this occurs and to makes things worse, the client performing reps like this isn't retracting the shoulder blades properly and is risky spinal injury (loaded rotation).
PhysioBall Leg Curls: In the top video, I'm not contracting my glutes and leaving my hips in extension while I flex the knee. This is a great way to ensure that your hamstrings fire first before the glutes which is exactly the opposite of what we want. This will keep the glutes on the back burner and never allow them to reach their full potential.
Hex Bar Dead Lifts: In the video on the Left, I'm flexing my lumbar spine and not hinging properly. Most likely, my glutes are weak and hip flexors are tight. Learn the hinge to avoid future problems.
Push Ups: In the top video I'm doing what we call Seal Push Ups. This is where I lose total control of my spine and let it sit in hyperextension while loading it with the push up. This is a very common mistake and must be regressed and retaught to ensure safety. "Push Ups are dynamic planks"
E-Z Bar Curls: In the video on the Left, I'm adding in shoulder flexion on top of the elbow flexion. This is risky and can cause impingement in the shoulders. This indicates that the weight is probably too heavy...Yes, Curls - Summers Coming!!
I tell all of my clients everyday: Think QUALITY NOT QUANTITY.....